Dear Readers-

Growing up, my sisters and I knew that April meant spring-cleaning. We could expect to scour the house in a much deeper way than our typical Saturday morning endeavor. A good spring-cleaning required that we take down drapes, wash bed spreads, clean out closets, and make sure our rags and mops reached out of the way places. It meant old papers were gone through and worn clothing was bagged up and donated to Good Will. So ingrained was this ritual that even today, with the light spring breeze that sweeps in the first scent of hyacinth after much rain, comes the gentle nudge to renovate my life in some way. It’s subtle but real–the way the change in seasons makes you want to try something new.

Our April issue is about just that: spring-cleaning—the things we keep, the things we discard, the things we see in a fresh new light. This month’s contributors have crafted thoughtful essays about the spring-cleaning in their lives. “Blue Glass Candlesticks” by Heather Tencza tells of a young mother’s wish to orchestrate civilized family dinner, inspired by a pair of vintage candlesticks she picked up in an antique store. In “Designing for Midlife” by Judith Hannan, the writer redecorates parts of her home as each child grows up and leaves, thereby slowly redesigning herself. “Lessons from the Past” by Stacy Firth brings us down to the basement where an old box of photographs plunges the writer back in time. Finally, in a micro piece, “A Vessel of Ache” by Suzi Banks Baum, our contributor encourages a mother whose heart is aching to speak of her losses.

Jennifer Judge’s “Letter to a Woman I’ve Never Met,” Mary Vlooswyk’s “Passages,” Yvonne Higgins Leach’s “Generations of Broken Hearts,” and Jennifer Hernandez’ “Melting” all tell of things left behind, some lost for good, some found again.

We hope you’ll be as inspired as we are by these writings.

Happy spring!