By Johna Till Johnson
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
—T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Ah yes, “Dull roots with spring rain”!
Every spring, it’s the same surprise. We spend the winter yearning for sunshine and warmth. Yet when spring arrives, it’s usually wrapped in a cloak of dark clouds and cold rain.
It’s become a cliché: “April showers bring May flowers”—even though in New York, the flowers usually bloom in April (until they’re washed away by rain), and May is the month of green leaves.
But every now and then, even in the dank days of mid-April, a burst of sunshine appears. In this case, a window box, seen on the way home from the gym, with a riotous profusion of plants and flowers. A promise of brightness to come!