TODAY I SAW
A new little house. It looked large as the truck took it past the other houses on the street; but when they installed it upon its basement foundation, it looked pitifully small. One side had no windows. As soon as they were married two people who had been born in different countries were going to live in it and were determined to make it into a home. Already, two huge trees were very near in the next lot. So there would be birds.
A flowering bush was near and spring was here, with the possibilities of a new lawn and countless annual flowers.
The planning was yet to be done for the placement of the furniture and the very new curtains that would look bright and cheery now, but would be still hanging there when dark days came and life was not April. The flowers would not grow and come to blossoming without weeds and watering. The lawn would not grow well without mowing. The pretty dishes that would soon sit in the new cupboard would have to be washed and replaced hundreds of times. The pretty floor would get tracked and smudges would appear on the shining glass windows.
But life was in its April and now everything was shiny bright. The dreariness of doing things over and over had no part in their dreams as they planned and fixed the house.
The monotony of washing the dishes and having to adjust their wishes always to fit two people was a problem that would still come up. Not in April but maybe in November.
In November the sun isn’t always shining and the leaves of the trees and the birds wouldn’t be a cheerful mediator.
Some days you will ask yourself if this is the way things always turn out. November is a time when windows don’t sparkle the way they do in April and a lot of mud tracks in.
The little new April house won’t know if it’s a happy home for a long time to come. When November comes and then December and the pathway is muddy and sticky, when it is a hard problem to go down and get the mail, when the wind whips around the back corner and talks of death and change and fallen leaves, when the skies become gray instead of this cheery blue, when you aren’t seeing the street that sits in front of you; then you will begin to become acquainted with you little April house.
Oh, little girl from the land of the high Alps, from the land of friendliness, from the land of dreams where you have lived while you equestrian lived in Mexico riding his white charger, be wise; keep somewhere a bit of April in your small house. Keep some happy token of this time where you can take it out and look at it, and then as constellations burn and your happy April comes back, the magic will return. If you can keep enough of April to mix with the drabness of the latter days, then will your little April house be the place you are dreaming it will be. And always look for loveliness. Always enjoy the happy things. Keep your April; keep your April in the small house that Today I Saw.
—Mabel Claudia Knapp Hess