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 Wasteland.
When I read The Wasteland back in January, I made it my mission not to use this quote in April. I was looking forward to spring, and didn't want April to be cruel in any way. But April, April is cruel.
It's quarter past eight here and still light. I love that. But here, the snow has fallen and clings to the new buds on the trees like blossom. The daffodils I was so happy to see lie flat in the garden now under two inches of snow. My baby budgie is sitting on the top bookshelf, puffed up to trap the warm air under his feathers. The coal fire is blazing downstairs, while the new lambs shiver under their mothers in the fields outside as the snow keeps on falling.
Somehow, though, life keeps going. On the whole, life will continue to thrive despite this cold snap. Not everything will survive, but when I look at the baby lambs, I know nature is the least of their problems. Lambs are bitter-sweet. It's a beautiful thing, to see them playing in their field with each other, but in a few months the wagons will come. I'd say this, for me, is the hardest part of living in the country.
Summer will come soon, without a doubt, and the leaves will come through, the flowers, the scented breezes, all the wonderful things I love about summer. The swifts, the swallows, everything will come alive. Even now life is coming through, having survived the winter, but cruelly tricked by the warm weather of last week. It won't all come through.
Looking out of the window, it's hard to believe it's April. It looks like Christmas outside. It's vaguely unsettling, last week, no, two days ago, I was standing on the lawn with no shoes or socks drinking coffee and looking at the buds. Now I'm by the heater next to Trotwood with two cardigans on.
As for reading: right now it's gloriously uncertain. I read the first book of Odyssey during the power cut, as well as The Gospel According to St. Matthew. I started Our Mutual Friend (what a beginning! Has anyone read it?), and also The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I have no interest in The Shadows of the Wind, but it remains next to my bed. I don't know what I'll be reading tonight, once more I have many books on the go after remaining faithful to chunkster after chunkster in March. I love this approach to reading. I like being conflicted, not knowing what to pick up. I also picked out Tales From Ovid by Ted Hughes, so perhaps I'll read that in bed. I don't know, and I love not knowing.
As I typed that the power went out again! It's dark, my laptop has limited power, so I'll cut this short. Need to get Trotwood into his cage and make some tea. For the record: I do love April. Very much. I'm so happy it's spring, but it will always be hard to see spring so naively, especially when living in the country.