April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
T.S. Eliot, “The Wasteland”
I turned sixty on Saturday (I am determined not to lie about my age).
Just another depressing anniversary in a month filled with them.
It’s not enough that we have Hitler’s birthday, Lincoln’s assassination, Waco, Columbine, and Oklahoma City. The Boston Marathon bombings. The Virginia Tech Massacres. The Indianapolis FedEx shootings.
The San Francisco earthquake and fire. The sinking of the Titanic. The Deepwater Horizons oil spill.
Now we have the Derek Chauvin trial and the police shootings of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo. We have yet another justified protest being met with more police overreaction.
But I have a glimmer of optimism. At least April will not see “Officer acquitted in George Floyd murder” as yet another black mark on the month. The verdict is not justice, not really – the injustice runs too deep and too long. But it does give a measure of accountability. Maybe it can be the start of change.
For once, April brings hope.