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It is finally April, and ...

Apr 5, 2012 - By Betty Starks Case

I guess you've noticed it's April. I suppose you've seen, as I have, the early buds peeking out on the bleeding heart and the flowering almond.

OK, so the blossoms got nipped. Somehow, I know they will bloom again.

In my annual exuberance about the spring thing, I was digging through my treasured writings file and came upon this one. You may have seen it somewhere before, but today seems just the right time to share it with you - again - or for the first time. It goes like this:

IT IS APRIL

These seven words were scribbled on a small cardboard sign beside a man in a city park:

"It is April, and I am blind."

Surely we who have the blessing of physical sight should make four affirmations this month:

It is April ,and I can see. I can see the beauty of nature, the glory of a sunrise and the smile of a loved one and friend. I can see much more than these, however, because I am also aware of the needs, the hungers, and the sufferings of others.

It is April, and I can grow. I can use each of these glorious days to grow, to improve, to become more of the beautiful personality my creator intended me to be. Like the flowers, I can bloom where I am planted; I can grow where I am rooted.

It is April, and I can give. I can bless the lives of others. I can enrich my environment, add fragrance to my corner of the world, and become a human rainbow of loving caring to my fellow man. As the bird gives itself unreservedly in song, so can I give myself generously, trustingly and cheerfully.

It is April and I can rejoice. I can remember that spring always follows winter, that growth always follows planting, and that life follows death. I can gratefully and enthusiastically rejoice. I can thank God for more blessings than I will ever be able to count. I can rejoice in a faith that causes men to say, "I was blind but now I see."

William Arthur Ward, the author of these words, is one of America's most-quoted writers of inspirational maxims, so I thank him here for the generous reminder and potential for renewal that April offers us.

And while I deeply agree with Mr. Ward's suggestions, I'd like to offer more hope to the blind man. Seems to me if someone shared the above words with him, he might find a few affirmations of his own. Perhaps something like this:

"It is April and I can smell. I can sense the lovely fragrance of flowers teasing at my nose, inhale the fresh greening of grass, the breeze lifting moist air off the pond.

"It is April and I can hear. My eardrums echo mating calls of the dove, the rustle of tender green leaves caressing each other in the trees, children laughing in the park around me.

"It is April and I can taste. I can enjoy and be grateful for the sandwich or ice cream cone one of those thoughtful children offered, the cool drink of water in the thermos beside me, the nourishing soup that awaits at the shelter where others care.

"It is April and I can feel. I can sense the caring in the hand offered by a passerby who lives the philosophy of William Arthur Ward; I can caress the soft coat of the man's friendly dog that knows not and cares not if I see; I can feel the warm damp of his tongue as he welcomes my touch."

Now, with humans on both the giving and receiving ends of author Ward's philosophies, and a wet snow breaking the spring drought earlier this week, the month of April can burst into full bloom.

And now I know the better potential of humanity is not just a fantasy. It can actually come into being.

Especially in April.

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