In the America of today, it may be difficult to remember to do this, but I still celebrate the arrival of Spring and the month of April. It has always been that intensely anticipated pivotal turning point in the seasons where Winter is finally vanquished, and the green shoots of the tulips and early petals of the forsythia plants alert our souls to the renewal of creation.
There is no question that, this time around, the arrival of April comes with some bitter medicine to swallow. Our nation and our world have been turned upside down with fear and dread at the outbreak of a vicious viral crisis. As April arrives, every human being on Earth is affected in one way or another. Yet, the lure of warm weather and the sweet scent of flowers and new-mown grass has, at the very least, reminded us that all things, both pleasant and disturbing, continue on their relentless path of the cycles and rhythms of life.
I was reminded of a song from Paul Simon, of Simon and Garfunkel, called April Come She Will. It is based on an old English nursery rhyme called The Cuckoo. For those of a certain age, myself included, you may remember this song from their collection: The Sounds of Silence, released in 1966. I have included the lyrics of the song as well as a video from YouTube of the duo performing the song live in Central Park in New York City. In the USA, this city has been the most seriously attacked by this virus, and perhaps needs, more than most places, to stay strong and look ahead with the fundamental hope and resilience of the American spirit. We have all been forced to step back, think twice, take care of one another, remember our shared heritage and embrace the effort required to reclaim our lives from day to day.
April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain.
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again.
June she’ll change her tune
In restless walks she’ll prowl the night.
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight.
August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold.
September, I remember
A love once new has now grown old.