Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Rite of Spring

Every April first, I put aside whatever I am reading and take up Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. If you have never read it, hurry to the nearest bookshop. This lovely book is best read in April. In it, you can travel to a villa in Italy for a month of wisteria and sunshine. You can trade the cold, grey days of London and duty for warmth, time to think, and the chance to explore unexpected friendships. You can fall in love with your husband again. You can learn the power of affection to melt an atrophied, old heart. You can hear tales of walking sticks that bloom, beautiful women who tread on lilies, and Italian acacias whose scent carries all the way back to England.

It doesn't matter what the calendar or the weather reports proclaim. Each year, spring begins for me on April first. As I read Enchanted April, I can feel Winter loosening his grip. He has his own beauty, but I am ready for Spring and her gorgeous ballgowns in shades of lilac, daffodil, and cherry blossom pink against the palest blue skies. Enchanted April is a harbinger of the quiet joys and extravagant beauty of this season. My cares just fade away as though I were the one on a holiday among the wisteria and sunshine. Care to join me?

The wisteria photograph was taken by Madame Ming of Flickr. The book is a gorgeous and treasured Folio edition my husband gave to me one birthday. The cover is gentian blue with a line drawing of an Italian villa. The delightfully old-fashioned illustrations are by Debra McFarlane.


tangobaby said...

What a lovely tradition! I have never read that book and now I think it will be on my list.

Lynn said...

Relyn -- I'm browsing your blog instead of going to bed at a decent hour (ahem), and had to say that Enchanted April is one of my all-time favorite movies. Now I need to read the book!!

Oldies, but Goodies