The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

April in Texas

Filling Up The Glass
 April in Texas
April in Texas

April in Texas

Between the rain-soaked chill of early spring and the sun-swollen, barefoot glory of summer, there is April. For some, this month probably holds no particular meaning other than the promise of the school year’s final, excruciating close, and taxes being due. But for others, April is host to a plethora of vernal pleasures unrivaled by any other month.

It’s not cold anymore, but it’s not quite so oppressively hot as to preclude spending time outside in excess of the 15 seconds between your air-conditioned home and your air-conditioned car.

For me, it means bike rides through the dreamy sparkle of early evening, noticing the steady, perseverant greening of the urban landscape. There are moist, mosquito sunsets that steep everyday scenery in the broiling crimson of a vanishing day.

It’s easy to forget about the twilight poetry that erupts in our sky a little later every day this time of year. Remembering it periodically is good for the heart.

Cold, sticky snow cone debacles wait around hot noonday corners (I recommend Aunt Stelle’s in Oak Cliff – the uncontested best snow cones on the planet).

Somehow the wild cherry syrup ends up in your ear, pineapple on your shirt. You feel like a three-year-old again, lacking the fine motor skills to manipulate fruity slush into your mouth without sugary disaster striking. Maybe that’s just me.

April means coping with ferocious thunderstorms that burst in on the calm of golden afternoons without warning, turning the ground to sponge cake and ice cream, the bountiful sludge sticking mercilessly to your shoes and bike tires.

Long, tempestuous love affairs with books of all assortments unfurl under trees. My loyalty to The Nazi Seizure of Power is rivaled only by my wanton infatuation with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Their turbulent competition for command of my cranium unfolds with me as a helpless bystander, awash in the seas of human knowledge and natural wisdom.

The slowly spreading warmth of the atmosphere has given music the bravery to bounce, careen and crash about the streets unencumbered by rolled up windows or walls.

It’s as if the worlds of noise that people had kept safe and bundled up in their cars all winter have suddenly been unleashed, to frolic and gallivant with the noises of other worlds in the nurturing glow of springtime.

Of course, this earthly splendor just happens to coincide seamlessly with the most arduous, toe-curling, horrific academic epoch of my young life. My brain thrashes around frantically in my skull, like a psychotic caged baboon, searching for an escape to no avail. If it isn’t careful, it’s going to damage itself or others irreparably.

Warmth and bird noises drip out of trees onto pale winter foreheads. The annual thaw is nearly complete. Blossoming and life and change and growth are infectious, contagious and spreading uncontrollably.

And my swimming pool has been stewing quietly, blue and untouched, for months. Soon its cool crystalline waters will bathe browning bodies in fresh ripples of chlorinated warm-weather marinade.

I wiggle my toes in soft grass and hard baked dirt and steamy, dingy puddles in the street after lukewarm showers. I hope that my children’s children’s children will be able to do as much without fear of nuclear contamination or cancer.

In the tranquil throes of unhindered cloud gazing, the mind reels at the celestial grandeur that passes above oblivious heads every single day.

Back on Earth, I watch evolution taking baby steps across the busy streets of human expansion. People and plants and dogs and wind currents all swirl together, trying vigilantly to weave sinews of survival within and around one another.

These moments of observation collude to remind me of the world out there worth saving.

He sometimes presses his nose against the windowpane between me and the simple pleasures of existing in my particular time and space.

He bats his big green eyes at me, and suddenly all the chaotic predicaments intrinsic to the human condition seem utterly and profoundly unimportant.

Such is life on the shapely, supple left breast of Texas in April.

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