“I choose April” my father would always announce in his booming baritone around this time of the year. He was quoting the first part of a Norwegian poem from the 1870s, though he never continued, so I doubt that he ever knew the rest of it.
Exactly 26 years ago I was very pregnant. In fact, I was overdue by a week, but the stubborn being inside me refused to budge regardless of how many stairs I ran up, buckets of water I lifted, and all the other things they warn you NOT to do as it might bring on labour. I assumed that the mystery being wanted to wait until April 23, which was my father’s birthday. However, he burst out on the 18th of the month. I had no idea about the significance of the date at the time, but when I announced the arrival of my beloved son on the phone from Canada to my parents in Norway, dad told me that it also happened to be the birthday of my son’s great grandfather. Not only was it the same date, but he would have turned 100 that year.
This cannot be a coincidence?
I thought then, as I think now, that my long-departed grandfather and my yet-to-be-born son had plotted this together from the place where before and afterlife meet. They had decided that my lad should be the great unifier of the family by entering on the very same date as his great granddad, only 100 year apart to the day.
They could have chosen another time, but they choose April.
And why not? April is a fantastic month. Granted, this specific time in this specific year is incredibly challenging for many people who worry about their livelihood, home, family, health, economy, and everything else. We are still in the eye of the storm, battling new waves, but at least now there is a flickering light at the horizon.
On a walk the other day we passed a stone cairn. It must have been made by one of those freakish balance-artists who put stones on top of one other in completely impossible ways. The figure had a big rock head and an awkward forward-hunching body. Yet there it stood in the wind, laughing gravity in the face. It was as if it (who likely also had come from the place where before and afterlife meet…) was saying in its dry and crackly underworld voice:
“DEFY GRAVITY! Age is just a number. Volume is relative.”
So, on days when we might be a bit weary on the trail and somewhat creaky in the joints, we too can do the same as our friend the stone cairn – choose to defy gravity.
We too can choose April.