April Brings Uncertain Things, Now and Then
WASHINGTON -- Dear April, national poetry month, are you the cruelest month? The first line of "The Waste Land" says so, and poet T.S. Eliot wrote it 100 years ago, 1922.
So, 2022, let's look at you.
Spring snow after joyful opening days at baseball parks celebrating Dodger great Jackie Robinson isn't a good sign. Gardens are thrown off the seasons after a long winter.
But the worst of it is raging many thousands of miles away, in a conflict that burst into the open. Russian President Vladimir Putin's ruthless near-conquest of eastern Ukraine, the Donbas, is on. That region may soon fall.
At the rare convergence of Easter, Passover and Ramadan this April, some people prayed that peace would break out in Russia's war on Ukraine. One was Pope Francis, who pleaded for an Easter truce.
"We have seen all too much blood, too much violence," Francis declared, noting the suffering in several shattered cities.
Rome fell on deaf ears.
When the war is over, it will take years to pick up the pieces, no matter which side wins. Ukraine's civilian casualties are mounting, each life irreplaceable. That toll will be on the world's conscience for much time to come.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's stirring moments of bravery and unlikely glory -- missiles sinking a Russian warship -- may make him a tragic hero in the end.
Beautiful and bittersweet, April won't tell yet.