By: William M. Mingus, III
I cannot believe that we are already a fourth of the way through 2019. Welcome to April! Lent will soon be over with the arrival of Easter. On the rainy, dreary days you will often hear the phrase “April showers bring May flowers” to bring somewhat of a silver lining to the blah weather. But where does this saying come from?
In the literal sense the rain that comes during the month of April provides nutrition for flowers that will bloom in May. Metaphorically speaking when we find ourselves in a period of depression or sadness, we can use that as a launching point to happiness and joy. The saying itself is an ancient English proverb and has been around for centuries.
The saying has a long history dating back to the fourteenth century with Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’. His version is more of a prelude to the modern saying. April’s showers are soothing the droughts in March and bathing the ground’s roots with water, the power to generate flowers.
After Chaucer’s introduction to this saying an English poet and farmer, Thomas Tusser, used the phrase in his writing titled ‘A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry’.
“Sweet April showers Do spring May flowers”
With that line, the modern saying started to take form. It would appear again in a poem written in the seventeenth century and in 1886 as an English proverb: “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers”. This saying holds true today as most parts of the Earth, the Northern Hemisphere, are beginning the cycle of spring.
Like the late comedian Robin Williams said, “spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”.