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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Copyright © 2011 by Ralph Couey

*Johnstown, PA  Tribune-Democrat
March 27, 2011
 as "Spring ushers in life reborn"

*Waterbury, CT Republican-American
April 9, 2011
as "Ode to April, the gateway to spring"

"No Winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn. 
April is a promise that May is bound to keep."
 -  Hal Borland

Ahhh, April!  Stand we now on the cusp of spring, the season of rebirth and renewal.  Behind us, winter reluctantly slinks back into the cold cave of its slumbers.  For long months, it has reigned supreme.  But now, finally, it is retreating; beaten, vanquished, cowering in defeat.

Oh, how we have waited!  Through those short gloomy days and long cold nights we could almost feel the life draining from us.  We were teased with days of sun and thaw, only to see the ground covered the next morning in yet another blanket of white. 

"We need spring. We need it desperately;
and, usually, we need it before God is willing to give it to us."
-  Peter Gzowski

But finally, the relentless cold, endless snow and ice is fading, replaced by gentle, warm breezes.  The grass that seemed beaten and crushed when it emerged from beneath the snow is struggling to its feet, the blades in silent chorus bringing forth an oratorio of green.

From deep beneath, the bulbs planted in the cool breezes of autumn are sending their green shoots into the world, reaching hungrily for the sun and sky.  Soon, their flowers will emerge; their cheerful and vibrant colors will give life to a garden’s canvas.  Across the open fields, wildflowers will bloom, the sweet smell of violets gently scenting the air.

The clouds will come, the rain will fall, yet it is embraced by plants and trees.  Gone is the somber detritus of winter, for beneath the gentle showers, the world is becoming clean again. 

Though April showers may come your way,
They bring the flowers that bloom in May.
So if it's raining, have no regrets,
Because it isn't raining rain, you know,
It's raining violets
--Buddy G. DeSylva

For us, it is a time when our hearts come alive once again.  For months, we’ve shuffled along hunched over against the chill.  Now our eyes come up and we feel the compulsion to throw our arms wide, embracing the warmth.  Around us, joyful faces reflect the sunlight in the most marvelous ways.  Strangers share happy greetings, friends laugh easily.  And for those in love, it is a perfect time.

April gave us springtime and the promise of the flowers
And the feeling that we both shared and the love that we called ours
We were living a time meant for us.
I've got pieces of April,
I keep them in a memory bouquet
--Dave Loggins

In the afternoons, the windows are thrown open, joyfully welcoming the fresh fragrances borne on gentle zephyrs as we watch the curtains sway gently to and fro. 

But the best part of any spring is the joyful sound of songbirds.  Their delightful melodies, the soundtrack of the season, fill the air and lift our spirits.  Not until now do we realize how much we’ve missed them. 

It is a time for long walks and gentle conversation; a time when children free their boundless energies, running, jumping, playing; it is for them a time of celebration. 

There is still plenty to come.  May will burst forth in blooms and sunshine.  June, July, and August host the warmth of summer’s endless possibilities.  There is a remarkably happy eternity in the days between Spring’s heroic emergence, and Autumn’s first frost.  We will dance ‘neath the sun and breathe deeply the warmth against the day when we must once again close the doors and windows and sequester ourselves within the walls of our homes.

Seasons come and go.  They march along, dictating the turn of the calendar.  Like a mercurial lover, each one has its charms and its faults, the things we look forward to, and the things we happily see pass behind.  But of all of them, no one is more anticipated, and more welcomed than Spring.  And standing at the gateway, with a smile gentle and kind, stands the month of April.  The door is opened; we are welcomed in from the cold.

And as earth rises from the long death of winter, so are we reborn.

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