“No Winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn. April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it.” – Hal Borland
“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” – William Shakespeare
“Listen, can you hear it? Spring’s sweet cantata. The strains of grass pushing through the snow. The song of buds swelling on the vine. The tender timpani of a baby robin’s heart.” – Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure
April is most often associated with the season of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the fifth in the early Julian, and one of four months with 30 days. April was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar, and they gave this month the Latin name, Aprillis, but its derivation is uncertain. The traditional etymology is from the verb aperire, “to open”, due to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to bud and bloom. April’s birthstone is the diamond signifying innocence, and its birth flowers are the daisy and the sweet pea.
For as long as I can remember, I have vacillated between whether spring or autumn is my favourite season, with a tendency to be fickle depending on which is upon us. Nonetheless, I have always loved the coming of spring, when the earth is reawakening, the snow and ice are melting away, the grass is greening, and we are magically thrust into the season of rebirth. The air is buoyant with bird song, the scent of blooming flowers, the sensation of renewed energy everywhere, and we are rejuvenated by the certainty that soon we shall be surrounded by the perennial beauty of Mother nature. How true are Virgil A. Kraft’s words: “Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”
For me, the perenniality of the natural world has always been an allegory of hope. When writing this letter, I came across a succinct definition in The Houghton Mifflin Canadian Dictionary of the English Language: Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or throughout the universe at large. Still, few definitions could beat Emily Dickinson’s: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” And, I believe that the true symbolism of this month is when, for most years, Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the promise of our perpetuity.
May you experience an April full of hope and promise.