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APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

T. S. Eliot, The Waste LandI suspect Eliot's move from the St. Louis of his youth to England had something to do with his dour appraisal of what is in many respects my favorite month, because I gave April little credit when I lived there myself.

But here in Missouri and Illinois, it is impossible not to feel a surge of joy as winter trends into spring, and does so very quickly.

Looking at these shining farm buildings and storage silos yesterday, seeing the first green shoots, and feeling that warm sun lifted my spirits so much that I woke up this morning feeling like a renewed person.In just a day or so, the brown branches in scenes such as this will be richly verdant and winter will be completely behind us. Here spring springs, and that is not how how I remember my young days in England. My journey is a mirror image of Eliot's. By no stretch as accomplished, but I sense as or even more satisfying.