It’s April and once again, I’m thinking of a line of poetry from T.S. Eliot’s book “The Wasteland,” one of the most complex works of literature I ever came across.
It goes like this:
“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”
Google that sentence and you’ll find countless theories about what Eliot meant. He died 52 years ago, so it’s too late to cross examine him.
As a child, I lived in a farmhouse fronted by huge lilac bushes planted by my Norwegian grandparents decades earlier. I still am transported back in memory when I see the first lilacs of the season.
As the poem suggests, the blossoms can evoke memories of loss, and that can be cruel.
But as always on April 1, I resolve to appreciate April and the other months of spring, summer and fall.
Winter, not so much. It’s the cruelest season.