Violence inflicted on a broad spectrum of individuals and groups, as borne out by this terrible roll call of which I am sure is incomplete:
April 14th, 1865, Washington, D.C. - Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
April 4th, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee - Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King
April 19th, 1993, Waco, Texas - Siege ends in horror at Branch Davidian compound
April 19th, 1995, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Federal building bombing
April 20th, 1996, Littleton, Colorado - Columbine High School shootings.
April 16th, 2007, Blacksburg, Virginia - Virginia Tech shootings.
To this we add April 15th, 2013, Boston Marathon, where bombs add dark punctuation to a calendar already swollen with the gravidity of fear and death. I cannot escape T.S. Eliot's characterization, in his poem "The Waste Land", of April as the cruelest month, while he wrote that for different reasons, it seems no coincidence that the first part of his poem is called "The Burial of the Dead". April it seems is becoming the time for tragedy.
What is it about spring that brings out the madness and hatred in mankind, seeking fulfillment in the maiming and killing of those whose only crime seems to be one of existence in this world? What possesses others to believe that their ideas and beliefs of how the world should be justify the carnage they inflict whilst pursuing their evil visions?
Whatever the motives behind the crime, it doesn't change the outcome for the wounded and the dead. That is not to say we should not ascertain why someone would do such evil things. Understanding and identification will help in catching the bad guys, or stopping them before it is too late. In the long view, does the motivation ultimately matter? I haven't answered that question to my satisfaction. I do not know if it can be answered properly. What seems most important is that we care for our fellow humans, and keep living life.
I am stunned and saddened by this litany of horror. I know that hatred and ill-will are perennial to the human condition. With the passing of storms and changing of seasons, we always hope that those weeds will never come back. Yet they do. It is enough that we not give up on pulling them out, however. We musn't give up. Otherwise the weeds will win and our gardens will revert to waste lands, while we retreat to our caves to nurse our shattered hearts with not much hope for the future.
April may be a cruel month, I know. There are too many examples of the dark side winning out. But April is also spring, and love and light burst forth in spite of the darkness. In spite of the bad, there is, there must be, more good in the world than willful madness will ever defeat. I hold that idea close to my heart, watching the yellow glow along the fence, dreaming of spring for evermore.