While April Holds…

Aprille: come she will.

The most celebrated month of the year, April is the pinnacle and quintessence of all that is spring. Breeding lilacs out of the dead land, her steadily lengthening days fill with idiotic babblings and avian desires while the tension filled and fit-to-burst buds finally give way and openly relax after winter’s prolonged grief.

April struts apace parading her fineries to be seen, draping each thorn with blossom, dappling all things green. April is the year’s most sacred month, the time of year when every gardener renews their vows with the earth, when all is rejuvenated and eternity springs in each leaf’s rebirth.

Gardening has always had the ability to ground people.  As a life-skill gardening is fundamentally formative in developing deep affinities with and personal awareness of not only one’s minuteness and powerlessness in the universal scheme of things, but also of our time and place in that vast and shifting cosmos which we all too easily claim as our own.  Working in the garden keeps us close to the earth; kneeling and hunkered down with hands buried deep, working the clay and loam, the spiritual and almost worship like pose of those willing to lose themselves for a time in moments of sowing future hope. And in April there is more time spent on knees in gardens than at any other time of the year.  April more than any other month, is that one time of the year when gardeners instinctively and intuitively meditate, joining hands and earth together in a prayer like offering, while contemplating previous glories and cultivating plans on what the future seasons may hold.

With spring fully swinging into action and with everything suddenly happening at once,  April beckons the gardener to daily rounds on bended knee, instilling a practice of curtsy to their own sacramental efforts,  sure in the knowledge that nature will repay their springtime homage with a good harvest, and so long as April holds fine there is time; time to sow and time to hoe; time to tend to the soil and mend our ancient bonds with earth; time to seed in and to weed out; and so long as April holds there will always be much to do in the world.

One April day, many. many years ago, while Cracklin’ Rosie was busy chasing Sweet Caroline up the hit parade my grandmother bought me 2 packets of seeds: a packet of lettuce seeds and a packet of scallion seed. Later that same summer my mother made fine fuss of my minor gardening success,  plating more than a reasonable number of salad teatimes, allowing  me to taste the bounty of my efforts and my siblings to appreciate a North Dublin suburban backgarden harvest.

April has comes around again this year, and while April holds I’ll sow, and sow.

And if at first I don’t succeed, while April holds I’ll sow more seed,

 

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