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 of her flight.
August, die she must.
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold.
September, I’ll remember.
A love once new has now grown old.
by Paul Simon
Here’s to April and all the flowers that follow on her footsteps.
I lived most of my life in the South and by the end of February there, daffodils begin to bloom, the icy winds have subsided, and spring has all but arrived. For the past several years, I have lived on the New Jersey Shore, and it can still be brutally cold in February here. The crocus doesn’t even dare to bloom until March and the daffodils open in late March.
In the South, people hope for snow. With fingers crossed and while holding their breath, they do the Snow Dance every time the sky turns gray in winter. In the northern, mid-Atlantic region of the Jersey Shore, I begin winter that way, as I anxiously await the first soft and silent snow that will come and white-wash everything around me. By the time that February ends, however, I have become tired of the cold weather and the high winds–the N’or-Easters.
This past week, we had a few 40-degree days and perhaps even one 50-degree day. Tufts of greenness have begun to shoot above the earth, signaling that spring is on its way, but last night, the winds shifted. One cold blast too many landed on my old, massive, and majestic magnolia tree, toppling it to the ground–only inches from my house. Tonight, temperatures will dip to the 20’s again, and I have to remind myself that in this region, spring is not here until April, but April does come–it always does.
If I were Mother Nature, I’d have long, long springs and falls, and I’d steal days from winter, making it shorter. I enjoy a brief, winter show, but by the end of February, I am ready for yellow jonquils and fat robins. Right now, I am singing Paul Simon’s song, reminding myself: “April, come she will.”
©Jacki Kellum February 27, 2016