April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
This passage by Eliot is often quoted when people talk about their longing for spring. Eliot's metaphor for the pain of emotional intimacy is poignant, but it has nothing much to do with the actual rigors of winter, and even he would look out my front windows today and say "enough, already."
This has been our most difficult winter on this property. Due to the heavy snows coupled with slight thaws and refreezing, we have been literally snowed in for several days at a time. In the past we
|"Dull Roots" 12x12 inches on cradled board. 2014.|
The snow seems to be slowly melting now, and subzero temperatures and ice dams on the roof might be a thing of the past. Having lived for so many years, I know that a substantial snow accumulation in March or even April could still be in the cards. But sooner or later, this winter will end. All the winters in history have ended, eventually.
There are some hopeful signs. The antique sewing machine carcasses in the front garden are visible above the snow once again, and the birds are singing, which - although their tunes are all about sex and aggression - sounds optimistic and cheerful to human ears. I've been very productive art-wise, and I'm proud of myself for getting through the bulk of the winter, more or less in one piece.
I will consider winter to be over when I can see the gravel on the drive again, and when even one of my bulbs sends up a stalk. When those two things happen, I will believe in the imminence of spring.