April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
So wrote T.S. Eliot in “The Waste Land.”
He never lived in the Hill Country.
No wonder he was depressed.
The very title of the poem is the first clue.
Mason’s far from it.
And April is far from being “the cruellest month.”
However, one thing’s the same.
April has been known to bring spring rain.
And thankfully we got some this year.
The cruelest month for Mason might be put to a vote.
Everybody’s got their pick.
August comes to mind right quick.
Day after day after day.
Week after week, with no end in sight.
The acme of summer.
Or perhaps February.
Too cold to spit.
The well pump might freeze.
Livestock born too early don’t make it.
In Eliot’s cold country, the stirring of those “dull roots” stirred up despondency instead of delight.
Darkness does, indeed, run the course of all things dormant.
And dwells in all things hidden, buried, or dead.
But then it was said, “Let there be light.”
And with it, the dichotomy of light.
It can blind.
But light also warms.
And guides one.
And experience has taught us
That true livin is an art
That escapes most city people
And they really aint so smart.
So I’ve weighed the facts and figgers
For their quality and worth
And found these Texas Hills to be
The finest place on Earth.
–Carlos Ashley, Texas Poet Laureate (1949-1951).
Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster.