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April's definitely not the cruelest month

April, 2009

Ice thaws on the river, ice melts on the streams, They are freed again as the spring sun gleams Old winter is beaten – see how it withdrew

—Goethe, Faust

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain! April is here! No more crampons on boots, no more scarves, hats, gloves and iced up windshields. The cane with no more spikes can rest in a corner until November. No deadly snow plows to be afraid of or waiting at windy corners for crowded buses and trying to get in and out without sinking into a dirty snow bank at the curb.

Just thinking of soft April showers and a few daffodils and crocuses showing their heads lifts the spirit. What a relief to watch the filthy heaps of snow melting in the rain!

All the same, be prepared for the battle of the potholes. I have already stumbled over some, watched cars attempting to dodge them and pedestrians, their eyes glued to the sidewalks, trying to avoid a broken ankle. There are bound to be blocked-off roads at construction time during the heat of summer – but anything is better than snowstorms.

I love April. It’s not the cruel month T.S. Eliot would have us believe. It promises spring and fun and sitting at a table outside a patisserie sipping a cappuccino. When I was young I’d sit in the April sun with a hand-made reflector to get a tan. I didn’t know about skin cancer. There are so many things we didn’t know, we could just enjoy ourselves unencumbered. Wasn’t it wonderful to lie on a beach towel by a lake or ocean and let the sun shine on us instead of having to cover up? Who can remember all those dire warnings and predictions about food, medication – not worth the strain anyhow because they tend to change from day to day.

I’m going to let the April showers wash winter right out of my hair – breathe in and out in the knowledge that the days are longer, the grass is green, and the sun will be warm again. There’ll be children’s laughter in the streets playing hockey and riding their bikes. I won’t have to take my garbage out at dawn with my winter coat over my nightie – wearing boots.

I can’t wait to have my windows cleaned and keep them wide open. I can’t wait for the birds to come back and build another nest in my tree near the kitchen window. I shall take my umbrella and go for a long walk on the mountain and, if the sun shines, sit on a bench at Beaver Lake with a book, or just watch people go by.



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