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For the Romantic in All of Us

I doubt the Romantics can e’er be surpassed

Such homage to the landscape was written to last

And I find in their words a corrective – a plea

To discover anew the power of Free.

It’s April, and for once, it’s not a cold, bright morning, and, praise God! the clocks are not striking thirteen. The nine o’clock hour passes, and the silence of the kitchen suffers the indignities of our raucous neighbor, an insistent rooster and his crowing. (Mind you, he crows all the livelong day, apparently having never received the memo that his job is to greet the dawn and then shut the hell up. But I digress…) This morning, the rooster isn’t the only one singing. The birds bathe the morning light in song. Before the sun rises, they chatter and coo. As the light comes up, their songs continue, with an off-key interruption from Mr. Rise-&-Shine now and then – just ‘keepin’ it real’ I suppose. And Spring, as always, is real. The grass is finally greening, and the trees are budding like it’s their job. Of course it is, actually, their job. And don’t you find the clichéd, tritisms that pass for meaningful communication (and dotted in my words thus far) wholly unsatisfying?  Our colloquialized, slang-filled phrases pale in comparison to, say, a Wordsworth, who must have been noticing Spring when he wrote this:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Spring. Daffodils. Birds. The freshness of the air. The call of freedom. Free at last, from the hardship of winter. Free at last, from dormancy. Free, at last. To breathe, to listen, to see. And free, always, to hope. The Renewal is here, a bit late perhaps, but somehow, always, right on time. A sunny, bright morning in April, and the clocks are only striking the usual hour so that I, ‘in the bliss of solitude’ along with the Romantics of yesteryear, might dance again, with the daffodils.

Go. ‘Wander, lonely as a cloud’ amongst the daffodils of your own Springtime. If a rooster happens to crow, or a cardinal calls or a fat duck waddles through your yard, consider the joy & the hope of this new season. Let your own ‘heart with pleasure fill’ – and be thankful. For Spring, for poets, for life itself. Like Wordsworth, we cannot help but ‘be gay’ in such a day as this.

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