I grew up in the northeast, where life is lived in four seasons.
There’s summer, when it is hot and humid, sunny, and bright, equally tiring and energizing. There’s fall, with crisp air, apple picking, and landscapes adorned by trees of both evergreen and ever changing colors of leaves. There’s winter, when the joys of newly fallen fresh snow, can too quickly evolve into an unsettling long season of grey, when the ground and sky and time seem to lose their distinction. Then one day a red robin appears, soon joined by its friend, a blue jay, and spring emerges with flowers that bloom, and the season of sun and gentle breezes replaces the cold and the drear. Ah.
But sometimes it snows in April.
The sight of a flower stooped over, frozen, bent, and crushed by the weight of ice and snow, breaks us from the inside.
Time is supposed to move forward, but here we are, again.
We held out hope for so long during a long winter, then just as quickly as the birth of spring was actualized, or so we thought, our hearts were broken as hope unborn had died.
Prince, Uncle Rogers Nelson, The Artist, gave us words and a symphony of rhythm and sounds that helped us to name and excavate feelings we had but didn’t always know how to define or to tap.
Prince created space for us to experience our full selves.
When he died we were left to process our grief, seemingly alone, and so we turned to Prince’s catalog. In our shock and grief at the unexpected snowfall, we lied on couches, with eyes closed, listening. Just listening. We thought we were numb. Instead, we found ourselves feeling. Then like the trees, and the flowers, we began to grow towards each other. We lit candles. We sang. We swayed. We danced. We clapped. We stared. We cried. We gathered. We met ourselves.
As I pen these words it is 2021, and it indeed snowed in April after a long, extended winter, from a spring a year ago that never fully appeared.
Every day has been Groundhog Day. We wonder if we can handle one more day. We wonder is there a point in hope that spring will come?
The thing about Prince’s poetry is that it doesn’t rush us through our moments. It has us sit with and steep in this moment, without worrying about what comes next.
“Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad…
Sometimes I wish”
Sometimes there are days like today when I wish.
Sometimes I wish.
And for today, I’m going to sit with that.