April is a singularly perverse time of year. T.S. Eliot called it "the cruelest month" for the way it reawakens our desires after a long, sleepy winter, but what I find far crueler is the mind games it plays on us with the weather. Only a week ago we had flannel sheets and a heavy blanket on our bed; today they're out on the clothesline, drying in the hot sun, while I'm sitting here with a fan pointed at my head.
Spring is supposed to be such a beautiful season, and so it would be, if it would just settle down and be spring for more than one day at a stretch. But instead, it seems to sway wildly back and forth between winter and summer. The magnolia trees, my favorite part of spring, bloom for only a week or so, and many years there's not a single truly temperate day during that week to enjoy them. It's either far too cold outdoors to sit down for five minutes, or else it's pouring down rain—and by the time we get one perfect, sunny day, the magnolias are overblown and scattering their petals in a slippery mess over the sidewalk.
Sometimes I wonder if it was always this way. Is my memory just playing tricks on me when I remember the lush, beautiful Aprils of my youth? Has April really become less lovely and less temperate than it used to be? Is global warming to blame? Or am I just imagining it?