Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In Defense of April

April is National Poetry Month. Say the words "April" and "Poetry" to most people and they will most likely come up with T.S. Elliot's famous words:

" April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."

Now, I have always felt sad about this. You see, my birthday is in April. (In fact , it just went by and Peaches and Popcorn treated me to a "pretend" pamper session where they put "pretend" nail polish on my fingers and toes). Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I always felt April was getting a raw deal. To me it is a magical time, filled with the promise of the coming summer when the world seems to burst into life, redolent with the fragrance of flowers. With this in mind, I decided to involve the girls in working on our solitary flower bed. The good news is that they loved it! The bad news is that this seems to have unleashed their inner competitive gardener. We can hardly walk past a house now without high-pitched commentary. "Look, their flowers are bigger than ours and all of them are out." "They have pink and orange ones, look, look." I completely missed the trend on bright tulips that has hit our neighborhood like a Primitivist tsunami and our pale pink crocuses from last year are getting no respect. Daily,ever more ambitious plans are formulated for the biggest , brightest garden in the world. All to be executed by mom, of course. So April looks a little different now, I have to admit. My earlier rosy view did not involve so much digging for one thing.
Still, it has its poetic side. As Rainer Maria Rilke said it,

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices
instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable
shrieking into the heart of the night."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cherry Blossom Time

It is that time of the year again. One week of sublime beauty when the roar of traffic, the wheels of government and the sea of people all stop in silence to admire the cherry blossoms. Since they only last a week, Peaches and Popcorn had to be taken there last sunday. It was a grey afternoon, but crowded with people. Since it had turned a bit chilly, hats, jackets, scarves and gloves were everywhere. We had to park a long way away and then Mr. Fractal had to push the double stroller up and down the Mall to get to the Tidal Basin. Once there, Mr. Fractal and I were again awe struck by the scene, it looked like a delicate Japanese painting come to life. Peaches wanted to know if we could go boating while Popcorn begged to be allowed to touch the ducks in the water. We took some pictures, placated the girls with fries and chips and generally had a good time.

As we wound our long way back, I asked each of them what they had likes the most. Peaches said it was her dad whizzing along with them in the stroller. Popcorn considered the question, gave a limpid smile and whispered, "Chips."