April is not the cruellest month
T.S. Eliot said that “April is the cruellest month”. Sarah thought how pusillanimous that was. They were the words of a man who feared the little green shoots, because there were none forthcoming in himself: why should the earth revive, when he had no wish to do so himself?
Sarah felt as though she was at the bottom of a flight of stairs. The steps themselves were shallow, but the flight seemed endless. There was a faint light at the top, and she toiled towards it. She wondered how long the silence would last. Then as she approached the light, she heard birdsong, faintly at first, then more and more distinct. The robins. The blackbirds. The skylarks. The chiff-chaffs.
She reached the top of the stairs and pushed against the undergrowth that was barring her way, and she almost fell out into the bright green light. It was like walking into Botticelli’s Primavera. And there the figure stood: was it Flora or Chloris, the spirit of Spring? Sweet-smelling flowers tumbled from her mouth and twined round her body. As Sarah watched, the world was bursting with life. Every flower, every creature was burgeoning with colour and texture. Smiling lovers embraced, and new creatures tumbled from their mothers’ bodies. The air was teeming with pollen and song.
Sarah looked closer at the figure standing in the centre of it all, swaying with desire. It was the Goddess Venus for sure. She opened her mouth and said: ” be part of this. Love is all.”
There might not be many more springs left for me, thought Sarah. To partake in one more won’t hurt. And she stepped forward right into the frame. Suddenly she knew that this is all we have: desires to be cherished, senses to be assuaged, love to be given. Never too old for that.