“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”
I’ve always loved springtime.
There’s just something about the smell of the earth and rain and new green things poking through the decay of fall; something about the symbolism of a colorful rebirth after a long, cold season of gray hibernation. Thunder and lightning burst open the skies and settle the earth, and warm rains wash the whole scene anew. The runoff from April showers wind their way in pretty little ribbons and streams down the streets and sidewalks. Birds and rabbits lend their songs and scampers to a blossoming seasonal backdrop in a state of perpetual forward motion.
There’s something about the spring that just makes me feel at peace in the midst of a great turbulence.
Spring gives me roots, just as it gives me wings.
It grounds me, and gives me hope.
Emerging from the cold darkness makes me appreciate the warm sunshine, and the happiness I feel this season helps me better understand the despair I’ve felt in seasons past.
Gratitude for a warm day or a stubborn crocus poking through the last of the snow does not come from a general appreciation of these beautiful things, however.
Gratitude comes from want, from need, from being without.
I’ve been without. I’ve struggled. I’ve wanted and needed and cried and pleaded for things outside of my control. I’ve been denied, I’ve been angry, and I’ve been on the verge of quitting so many times.
Once I was even given the gift of a wish granted, though it was a short-lived dream from which I was forced to awaken.
Mine was a dream that was meant to be fulfilled in April.
This month is not an easy one for me for so many reasons. While it may be a month of celebrating life, rebirth, and growth, for me it also symbolizes grief, death, and loss. The loss of a dream, of innocence, of hope, will stay with one for all of time. I certainly have not fully recovered, though time has passed by, and life has gone on.
Even being an eternal optimist does not shield a person from a lingering sadness and a strong association with a date, a month, or a time of year. Storm clouds may bring showers that help the whole world grow, but sometimes it can be so hard to see the silver lining for the rain driving into your eyes.
Spring is that time for me. Hope and despair marry, and one becomes the other; a tornado of contradictory feelings from which there is no shelter.
April always leaves me confused – sad and happy, hopeful and grieving, warm and cold – but one undeniable fact about this time of year is that it never fails to remind us of what could be, what may be, and what will be.
The rain and the sunshine gently clash, and though one could easily destroy the other, they sometimes strike a compromise and find balance. Out of that balance comes a rare beauty, a symbol of strength that’s meant to be appreciated, a promise that’s meant to be kept.
I may spend this month feeling like I’m being followed by a volatile spring storm cloud, but I know that hope is still alive, and that the sun will still shine. As time passes, and we hurtle on toward warmth and growth, the world will explode into a riot of color, I will find gratitude again, and I will know that peace may find me yet.
And if I’m lucky, maybe my dream is still out there in the breeze…
If there’s a chance that April’s promise can still be kept, I will turn my face to the wind, embrace every blustery day, and remain open to whatever the chaotic, ever-changing seasons of life blow my way.
And for all the wild and unpredictable weather of life, one thing is for certain:
I will flourish.
I will bloom.