Monday, March 25, 2013

Practicing hope

 April is the cruellest month, breeding
 Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
 Memory and desire, stirring
 Dull roots with spring rain.
 Winter kept us warm, covering
 Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
 A little life with dried tubers.
— T.S. Eliot from The Waste Land

 It's not yet April, but it is Holy Week.  It's snowing. I'm snowed under.  (Metaphorically, not literally, more's the pity!) Still, memories are stirring, their muddy feet traipsing through winter's fire-warmed reading-room.  They throw open windows to let in breezes a trifle too cool and damp to be entirely welcome.  The dull aches of loss swirl in my tea cup.  The sweet spiciness of cinnamon slips up the stairs, the enticing scent of resurrection.

I remember sunlit March days in the Illinois, swathed in my turquoise snowsuit, determined not to let the cold wind drive me back inside.  I huddled on the side of the house, in the lee of the prevailing winds, hunting for any signs of crocus pushing up through the frozen flower beds.  Practicing hope for springs I could not begin to imagine.

Thanks to the miracles of Google street view, this is the house I grew up in.  The right side as you face the house is where I used to shelter from the winds that swept up the hill.  The birch tree whose shadows danced on my wall on moonlit nights is gone.  I wonder if the crabapple in back has grown sturdy enough to climb?


  1. Prayer taking you into deep places, again?

  2. Mmmm, such good food for thought, prayer and contemplation. Thank you.

    1. Ah, Fran, you can always find the good bread! Thank you!

  3. neat. nice that you can look back across the years like that. same but different.

    1. In some ways the years are one long breath....