The Coldest Winter Is Over: We Know What To Do
We have gotten up early so we would have time to feel the wind and sunrise as our guides. The ground whispers that it is ready, as the coldest winter is over and it is indeed time to plant.
The soil is cranky still, broken into sections, seemingly solid and impregnable in parts. Yet the seeds are clamoring from packets, the seedlings eager to move from the confinement of pots to the spring joy of the ground, and expansion and interacting is at the dawn — finally — again.
We know what to do.
Setting the ground
Thomas Tusser wrote a poem in 1557 that includes the line, “Sweet April showers do bring May flowers.” The idea of April setting the ground for May shows up in a proverb recorded in 1886, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”
That is what we must do: the hard work, the often unattractive yet critical work of ensuring our garden of democracy is tended. In recent days, it has seemed worse than a fallow field. Many left it to rot.
It must not.
With 100 days and counting into the new spring, a historic Women’s History month behind us in March, and April’s plentiful recent showers — the season demands that we restore the amber waves of grain, the fruited plains, that make our democracy alive.
“We have to prove democracy still works, that our government still works and we can deliver for our people.”
- President Joe Biden
Getting our hands dirty
We know what to do.
We need to get our hands dirty. We need to dig out and chuck away the fieldstones that impede the planting. We must be determined and diligent to remove the weeds set on choking what we plant. We will fill in the ruts in which we sowed division and not unity. We will persevere until once again the field is alive with growth and fireflies. We will not leave it as a Flanders Field, planted with the toll of our fight for democracy, row after row of crosses showing all that we lost, while the world moves on from the scorched earth of recent times.
President Biden said in his address to Congress, “We have to prove democracy still works, that our government still works and we can deliver for our people.”
As other groups have widely maintained, “Nothing about us without us.” All of us. What gardens produce are the shared bounty of those who work them together. The political deep freeze that challenged new growth in the rich soil of our democracy has slowly given way to a shaky but hopeful thaw. The raging unchecked storms are now diminishing daily, as temperate skies skate again and the April rains declared spring will be a rejuvenation. May was told to be ready, and it is, we are.
Doing what we know how to do
We garden together in the enormous fields of crops that we choose, according to the needs of our famished and hungry spirits. Our diversity in tastes means the field will flourish with colors and sizes, textures and aromas — joining together to restore democracy’s bounty.
Put on the clothes for the work. We can do nothing alone. Nothing about us without us. Individual effort and contribution to all enable democracy to grow stronger. The field is friendly but it is vast and cries out its need for the new season. We will meet each other where we are today, sharing the different tools we all bring to ensure all grows well.
We must work to make it happen, not just to make a point. The only division we will accept is that of the rows of our crops. We will start and not stop our work to conquer the pests bent on savaging our harvests. We must ensure the roots of democracy and equality run deep.
The showers of April have prepared our ground to be fruitful and equitable in May. It is time to do what we know how to do.
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