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April Is a Significant Month

Tuesday 28 July 2015 at 03:41 am.

This article by Ray Spitzenberger first appeared in IMAGES for April 19, 2007, East Bernard Express, East Bernard, Texas.

Ah, the last two days have been wonderfully typical Texas-in-April days, "when bluebonnets bloom and birds are on the wing . . ." It's a time when an elderly pastor has finished a very busy season of Lent/Easter, and he can kick back and prop his lazy feet up on the coffee table for hours at a spell. It's a time when the grandchildren are saying and doing cute things, and they treat you like the King of Grandparents' Land, which you think you are. It's a time when the pot plants (Easter gifts) on the patio are green and fresh and blooming their heads off, before summer and neglect can shrivel them. It's a time when Susan Jochec is back at work at our favorite auto repair shop. So all's well with the world – in my household anyway.

Somehow, mid-April makes you feel like a young man again. As Shakespeare wrote, "When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim has put a spirit of youth in everything." (William Shakespeare, by the way, was born in April -- April 23, 1564). My very green lawn is growing as fast as Clayton can mow it, and the mock orange bush is bursting forth with so many white blossoms, the limbs are bending from the weight of the petals. Ah, yes, April!

Some people talk about Spring fever, but my experience is more like Spring "fervor."

A quick look at American history and what happened in April over the years gave me pause to wonder why. The American Revolutionary War began in Lexington, in April (April 19, 1775), and it also ended in April (April 15, 1783). Texans beat the Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto in April (April 21, 1836). The American Civil War also began in April (April 12, 1861), and it ended in April (April 9, 1865). The United States declared war on Germany in April (April 6, 191 7), and thus got involved in World War I. And the Vietnam War ended in April (April 30, 1975). It was amazing to me that so many wars began and ended in the Aprils of history.

Why? I don't know the answer to that question, I can only speculate. The beginnings might be due to the fact that in many places, April is a time for the snow and ice to thaw and the weather to turn warmer, causing a feeling of Spring fervor rather than Spring fever. I don't know; there's probably no rational reason why wars start and end when they do. But the thought of some of those wars popped bubbles in my romanticizing of April. As does the thought of the deadline for filing our income tax (however, since my wife does this, I can breathe easy, except if I have to pay in more).

But good things happen in April, too. This year, the greatest of all, was the celebration of our Lord's Resurrection on April 8, preceded by the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on April 1.

And, even if a couple of Texas towns had snow for Easter, that's a good thing, too, as it's something they can tell their great grandchildren about someday. Around here, it was too wet to hide Easter eggs in the grass on Easter Sunday, but we had a packed house at church, and that brings a lot of fervor to your heart. Of course, experts on the subject say that the lowest attendance of the church year is on the Sunday after Easter after a peak attendance on Easter. We'll see on Sunday whether they are right or not.

The birds seem happy this beautiful, bright April morning (as I write this column; who knows what it will be like when you read it), and our big black cat is looking longingly in the direction of the birdsong. He salivates. I look in the direction of a nest, where much ornitho-activity is going on. I just pray that none of the little nestlings fall out of the nest, with "Sylvester" waiting below. With my April fervor, I resolve to protect the sweet little baby birds from the drooling cat.

-0-

Ray Spitzenberger serves as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wallis, after retiring from Wharton County Junior College, where he taught English and speech and served as chairman of Communications and Fine Arts for many years.

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