April: The Cruelest Month

April 15: I’m sorry to admit my lack of culture but I really don’t know who penned the famous line: April is the cruelest month. Perhaps it was Shakespeare as he seemed to produce most of the most enduring quotes. Whoever said it hit the mark this year. I have never seen my usually-beautiful surroundings looking so awful. Last spring we were so dry it was scary. Then, in early July it started raining and kept it up for most of the rest of the summer. Although it played havoc with haying and harvesting, for the most part, we were still grateful. Drought and fire are formidable foes. We went into winter with ample groundwater and received a generous amount of snow. This was still fine. Then came April with almost daily snow or rain or rain and snow. The cows are calving and providing a dry bed for the babies is almost impossible. Water lies in every depression and falls steadily from above. Any areas where the cows are fed are quickly tramped into quagmires. The trails over which the four-wheel-drive tractor has been hauling hay have holes that would serve well as tank traps. When I look across the corrals, pastures, and trails I now truly imagine what conditions in the trenches in World War I must have been like. Nothing but mud, water, and muddy soup. April 16: It’s another day and right now the sun is shining. Immediately my spirits rise. In spite of the forecast for snow or rain every day next week, I am optimistic. The mud will dry up. The grass will grow. All will be well. Hope springs eternal.

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2 Responses to April: The Cruelest Month

  1. Sally Banks says:

    Well-penned, Marilyn. In fact I was out photographing some of that very stuff today – water and mud and melting snow. (P.S. T.S. Eliot is the fellow you are looking for, from “The Waste Land” (1922).

  2. Sally Banks says:

    P.P.S. And “Hope springs eternal”? From Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man.”

    Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
    Man never is, but always to be blessed:
    The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
    Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

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