She who arrived in a sparkle of snowflakes left in a blaze of flame. And while she was here, she transformed our world.
She filled the silence with the singing of peepers and birds. She thawed the frozen waters for the fishes and the fowl. Trees that were stark and bare bid her farewell with ten thousand flags of lime and orange, chartreuse, red and green.
And to crown it all, she woke the flowers. The crocus, daffodil, spring beauty, and forsythia all opened to her call. Magnolias bloomed and dogwood and cherry and countless more whose names I do not know.
She brought us new life, and comforted us with her promise when life departed, singing softly, “It never ends. It never ends.”
She lifted our hearts with her sparkling laughter, and warmed us with her fragrant breeze. She sang the Yes iin rainbow hues all across our lands. And today, sweet April, who arrived in snowflakes, took her farewell in a blaze of scarlet flame.
As if all she had given were not enough, April brought us pieces of sky. She tucked them, complete with their starry centers, right at our feet. And there they lay, smiling up at us with the sweetness of angels.
We were so touched by the gesture that we might have cried. But just then a sparkling of swallows flew past, dropping their silvery notes all around us. And all we could do was laugh in sheer delight.
April took her greens to the hosta patch and set her passion free. She danced to the song of green oceans and emerald birds, of unfolding petals and unfurling leaves. It was all in motion, a dizzying whirl, and the raindrops sang around her.
Her work here was nearly done, and it was splendid and triumphant. And her heart overflowed with gratitude for the song that the Yes had sung through her. And there, beneath the pearly skies, she danced and danced and danced.
Oh, sweet dandelion, such a gift you are, with your enduring glow, and so forgiving that only the wise ones and the children know your worth or see your beauty.
You laugh your joy across our centuries and lawns oblivious to our disdain, beaming on the darkest days.
Babies fill their chubby hands with you and bring you as a first gift to their mothers. Is it their delight that sustains you? Or is it the sun itself, whose golden image you so brightly wear?
You are the song of the common miracle, dear flower. Sing on forever. Sing on.
Because it is spring, let there be tulips. Let their cups open to the morning sun. Let their joy-colors dance across the lawns of the nations.
Here is the simplicity of love and its depth. Here is its comfort and renewal. Here love’s tenderness and strength pour out for you in ancient songs.
Bring on the messengers of gladness, who speak in bright rainbows to hearts young and old.
Now, as the cycle of the seasons is reborn, let there be tulips.
I bet you have to go to flower school for about ten thousand years to learn to make all the beauties that April brings. Can’t you just picture all these chubby cherubs sitting on their clouds, practicing and practicing all the colors and forms?
I have this idea that they have to paint every kind of flower that ever was, and then they can invent some designs of their own.
One thing’s for sure. Whoever dreamed up these was an awfully cheerful soul. One glance at them, and your whole insides are full of smiles.
The debut was still several days away, but excitement filled the air as the apple trees put on their costumes. Already throngs of jeweled bees were buzzing through their branches. And at their feet, the dandelions were sprinkling golden coins.
Their annual ballet, you see, is a quite an extravaganza. Troops of thousands, arranged in neat blocks, dance over miles of rolling green hills. They rehearse in their dreams all winter long, and now their hour is near.
So they stretch their branches and wiggle their twigs, and their lush sap flows through their veins. And one by one, their petals unfold, and they sing, “We’re ready! We’re ready!”
As frivolous as she might sometime seem, April, of course, had her tender side. On the first day of her arrival, she noticed the fragile little quince bud that March had set out to greet her.
As busy as she was, she took time each day to stop by and place a gentle kiss on the tightly furled petals. “Not yet, sweet one,” she would whisper to it, knowing the nights would still be very cold.
So the little bud napped and dreamed springtime dreams and grew stronger with each passing day. And just when it thought its time for blossoming would never come, April touched its outer petals and said, “You may come out now, darling.”
So it opened to the sun and, for the first time, saw April, in all her glory. And she was far more beautiful than the little bud ever could have dreamed.
For Dr. Diane
So here she comes, tripping through the morning woods, tossing flowers from her basket as if they were candies thrown along the route of some parade. The birds can hardly believe their eyes. Elves roll through the grass, holding their sides in laughter. Fairies cavort in the sunbeams, beside themselves with the merriment of it all.
Even the stoic old maples chuckle at the sight. “That’s April!” they say to one another, shaking their limbs. “Sometimes she just can’t contain herself!”
“La-la-la-la-la,” April sings, “Happy Birthday! Happy Earth Day! Happy Birthday to You!”
“It is springtime”, sings sweet Earth, “and I will fly my green flags. I will open my blushing buds and bring forth my tender blossoms. I will make a home within myself for all your birthings and beginnings.
“Come dig your feet into my soil. Turn me with your shovels and machines. Bury your seeds in my richness and let me feed your bodies and your souls.
“For you I dance around the sun and bow in its direction. For you I spin amidst the glittering stars. I am a child of the Yes, as are you, and I am your mother and home. I sing to you, my children, and because it is spring, I will fly my green flags of joy.”