Poetry | Garden and Home | Seasons

April Underfoot

Star and coronal and bell
April underfoot renews,
And the hope of man as well
Flowers among the morning dews.
— A. E. Housman, Spring Morning

Spring in the air, with a twist of biting cold thrust like a knife into the gut to keep you on your toes. That’s April in New England—best to appreciate the brief moments of wonder before the weather changes yet again. Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers precisely because they take it on the chin over and over again and still rise to the occasion. Who are we to complain?

I’m not in a hurry to awaken the garden this year, feeling busy and distracted, but it doesn’t much matter whether I feel like awakening the garden or not, for the garden awakens. You either snap out of it and get ahead of things or you suffer through the ramifications of a rough start. There are beds to rake out, fallen branches to clear, fences to stand up, and soon sowing with more hope than a casual gardener has a right to. You’re either all in as a gardener or you concede it to the wild.

I suppose I’m not quite ready for that. Like the daffodils we must rise and do what must be done. Our season is so brief and well underway. And there’s still hope for the harvest.

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