“Then came April…Nature in that month sheds rays of enchanted light which, from the sky and the clouds, from trees, meadows, and flowers, pierce to the heart of man.” – Les Miserables
It is April. I have waited a long time for April to roll around; about 11 months come to think of it. And I remember the first time that I realized I liked April; it was four years ago and I was living in Washington DC, about eight blocks behind the capitol building. It had been cold, bitterly cold, a variety of cold that I had yet to experience until that point. I vividly remember standing on the Mall, mouth agape as I watched people in business suits skiing down the mall toward the capitol. Then as suddenly as the cold had come, it was gone, and the heartless cold gave way to warmth and life. It was as if creation itself was waking from hibernation and spreading its wings, flooding my world with light. I don’t mean to be melodramatic but that’s how it seemed, my time in DC was difficult, and the weather changing was a profound event. So here we are again, April, and things in Cheongju are warming up. I walked outside the other day and found the dead trees lining the road had changed their allegiance, instead of perpetuating the icy theme of winter their dead limbs had miraculously sprouted life, green buds springing up in mutiny against their former cold master. I am convinced that simple things like that are far underrated. How can you not feel uplifted as you find yourself caught up in such a transformation, literally watching the death of one thing giving life to another? It goes beyond simple transformation, I think the proper word might be birth.
Speaking of birth, one of my best friends and his wife just had their first child. His name is Enoch, and he is as beautiful a child as I have ever seen. Let me tell you that to miss this child’s birth was difficult, I love my friend and his wife and to miss such an important occasion seemed irresponsible at best, perhaps criminal at worst. So in an attempt to rectify the situation, I was constantly skyping with my friend while he and his wife were at the hospital. I got to know the nurses as they came and went, and even serenaded Enoch with a few licks from the guitar before he was born. After 20 some hours Enoch was born, and I missed it, barely. I called my friend’s cell as I was walking out of class, and the first thing I heard was the crying of a newly born child. Enoch had been born about 30 seconds prior to me calling. I don’t know much about those things, but for some reason tears began to form in my eyes and I found myself greatly moved. Nothing was said, nothing needed to be. Something profound had happened, something that defied the narrow constrains of language and would only be cheapened by its use. For all the value we place on language, there are places that even it cannot go. There are some emotions, some chambers of the heart best left unspoken of.
So if I had to choose a phrase to describe this time, this month, this season, it would be that everything is new. Everything is becoming new, moving toward life. Even in death something new comes. Big changes are on the horizon, big news is sure to come, life is evolving each day into something more dynamic, challenging, and profound. My most sincere hope in this season is that, as I find myself in the midst of this, that I might experience each emotion deeply. I so desire to deeply experience the pathos of this time, of this place, of these situations, and in so doing evolve into who I have it in me to be. Everything is new, and hopefully, so am I.