Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Day Before April 2016

Today is the day before April.

I've blogged several times about this favorite poem of my childhood by Mary Carolyn Davies. 

The Day Before April

The day before April
Alone, alone,
I walked in the woods
And sat on a stone.

I sat on a broad stone
And sang to the birds.
The tune was God's making
But I made the words.

My mother, my sister, and I have long celebrated "the day before April" as a special Mills family holiday. I always think of them both on this day, although my mother is no longer living. My sister sent me a "Day Before April" email greeting before dawn this morning.

The magic of the Internet is that over the years other lovers of this poem have found my past posts on this special day and confided to me how much this same poem meant to them and their families throughout their childhood and on to adulthood. With her permission, I'm sharing the beautiful message I received via email from Barbara McMichael a few hours ago:

I just stumbled upon your blog post from a couple of years ago about
celebrating the day before April - I was so happy to see it - it's been
a tradition in my family, too, for as long as I can remember. Sixty
years ago, my parents bought a piece of property outside of Seattle and
designed and built their own home. They kept much of the woodland, and
there is a particular flat rock that we always used to go sit on to
recite the poem. When I went away to college, I had to seek out rocks
elsewhere, but I usually was able to find something.

After my parents passed away, the original April Stone (as we called it)
had become overgrown. But over the past couple of years I've been
whacking away at the blackberries and restoring the woodland, and this
morning I was able to go sit on the stone, recite the poem and
commune with the birds for a few moments of springtime bliss. I'm so
glad to know there are others out in the world who are enjoying this
particular day, too. Hooray for the power of poetry!



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