Apr 1, 2016

Dull Roots and Spring Rain

"April [...], breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain." 
— T.S. Eliot 

I didn't write in March. It's not my fault, of course- March is generally the most uninspiring month, full of unsteady, confused weather, too much to do, and not enough will to do it. It's the longest month when winter never ends, just like August draws summer out to an unbearable length. These two months probably shouldn't exist.

But April is a month of unrestrained hope. The wind smells like new flowers, and we gasp for it after so many days of seeing our breath in the air. There is so much possibility, even if we aren't quite sure what it's for. I can ignore the days of sunburns ahead and be present for today, the way the Millie and Walter run like foals daring to stand for the first time. Springtime, floating its blooms over my head and growing everything green under my feet, makes me want to celebrate for celebration's sake. It makes me want to play the piano, write poetry, blow soapy bubbles with the kids, eat al fresco on a date night with Sky, and have another baby to cuddle.

Now that this perfumed oxygen is filling my lungs, it feels better to write. It feels better to do just about everything. This Midwest life means I can't quite pack up my sweaters just yet, but it also means I can pull out a pair of sandals just in case. So I wear a cardigan over a t-shirt, and let the brand new wash over my heart while remembering the last ten or twenty Aprils I've had, savoring the good like wine and dropping the bad from my hands to flutter away.

And suddenly, I'm younger, reminiscing about the April I was missing Sky, when he was in a desert and I was praying desperate prayers that he and my brother would come home safely to see the green Illinois cornfields again. Or the Aprils when I watched my stomach get rounder, a kicking baby's foot pressing against my palm, before I knew their every feature but God already did. Maybe April is less hope than it is sheer gratefulness, come to think of it.

After March's dim light, I can put away the moodiness that often comes with a love of writing, and be content. Our family is in a season of being content, I think. We have dreams and plans, of course- we long for our first home, for things to feel more settled and secure- but we have had a long journey already, and we can look back with amazement. Our hearts have been tired and worn, but on April first, we can lift up our faces to the sunshine and leave that deep, swirling blue of stormclouds behind us. We have come so far.

I read a verse in Psalms today that I had forgotten- "[...] in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me" (Psalm 139:16b). And it surprised me, because I somehow seem to forget. Days were formed for me. Every April I'll ever have has been crafted and shaped perfectly, and though the days themselves might not seem perfect, I can rest in knowing the unknown is already written.

So today, in the hours that are left of it, I will drink in the crisp, sunny weather, do my dreaming and planning, and simply be happy for the beauty I've been given. How lovely it is.
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