April has come at last. T.S. Eliot can call it "the cruelest month," but I feel its warmth and kindness; I see the daffodils and the tulips, the new, fragile leaves budding from tree branches; I see the light that endures through the dinner hour and invites me to sit outside and breathe in this new spring.
Too often, we've been spoiled by warmth in March. In younger days, we sunbathed in early March, but this year, March came with a chill that refused to go away. Snowflakes swirled in late March in the North Carolina Coastal Plain, even if they didn't stick.
And we yearned for the warmth we'd grown to expect, and we waited impatiently for the azaleas and cherry trees to flower into reassurance. But the cold persisted, and we were daily disappointed that spring would hide from us for so long.
Now it is here, and the outdoor tasks beckon with obligations so overwhelming. For in spring, the chores we had ignored throughout the bleak, gray winter grow more insistent and must be done. Still, April is not cruel because the chores come with sunlight and brightness and warmth. It is just what we needed.