And so in a vote of confidence in the continuity and seasonality of the world, the calendar turned again and it’s April. The tulips are in full bloom, the cherry trees at their peak and yesterday, I wore shorts in 80 degree weather with no wind. My cold virus left my body—good riddance!— and the simple fact of not being overcome by sniffles and sneezes is enough to make me want to run out and dance with the flowers.
April is the month my Mom was born and the month she died, seven years ago now. It was the birthday month of a dear friend Esta who left us too early fourteen years ago now. She was a gardener, my Mom was not, but it’s a good time to remember to enjoy the bounties of Spring erupting on their behalf, be their eyes and ears and nose and try to attend to the myriad gifts of being alive, with their invisible blessing.
April has been the time of year when the workshops wind down, the Spring Concert preparation ramps up and one can start to feel summer’s invitation around the corner. Now those habitual seasonal cycles I lived for almost half a century have changed, though I do feel the decline in my Zoom workshop calendar. I take out the new calendar page and fill some 12 out of the 30 squares with something scheduled—the resurgence of my granddaughter’s 3rdgrade music class, the neighborhood sing, the Men’s group, a mythology class, the resumption of my Jazz History Class: Part IV and an interview alongside my sister for the film project about my work. Enough to give some shape to the month, some structure to my days, something to prepare for and look forward to. It’s enough.
My phone dings and there is today’s Mary Oliver poem, a ritual an old friend established as she decided to read one of Ms. Oliver’s poems each day and then had the idea of sharing it with me. Many I already know, but it’s a lovely daily surprise as to which one it will be today and how it will remind me to love the world as much as she did. Today’s poem begins:
“Softest of mornings, hello,
And what will you do today, I wonder,
to my heart? ……
Stay tuned until tomorrow and I’ll let you know.