“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.” — Robert Frost.
Though it seemed like spring all winter, and it hardly rained in March, now that spring has been officially sanctioned for 2014, I want to celebrate and hope for an April of renewal and optimism. So I looked up some information about next month and discovered that it is “Keep America Beautiful Month,” “National Poetry Month” and “Stress Awareness Month.”
As far as keeping America beautiful, we’re trying to do our best in spite of the drought. We at least had enough rain through February to bring out the spring blooms of March, which have been especially appreciated this year.
In honor of “National Poetry Month,” I offer an ode to spring, by L.H. Bailey:
Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
Today the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing as wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
As for “Stress Awareness Month,” a column on the subject will be coming before long.
We are all familiar with the usual special days of this month — like April Fool’s Day on the first, Tax Day on April 15, Easter on the 20th (this year), Earth Day on the 22nd and Arbor Day on the 25th. Some famous people with birthdays in April who we may remember are William Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Temple, Queen Elizabeth II, Jerry Seinfield and Jay Leno.
We don’t have any April birthdays to celebrate among our immediate family (several in March and May), but Ted and I do have a very special day to commemorate on April 6 — 62 years of wedded bliss! (Ha!!) Never thought we’d make it this far!
Most interesting — when I Googled “Special Days in April,” up came many “Bizarre and Unique Holidays.” One I found very appealing is “No Housework Day” on April 7. One that I’ve never heard of, even though I’m an avid player of the game, is “Scrabble Day” on the 13th. None of my opponents has heard of it either, but now we feel recognized. In case you didn’t know, among the many special days, we find “Peanut Butter and Jelly Day” on April 2, “National Garlic Day” on the 19th, “National Jelly Bean Day” on the 22nd (bon appetite!) and “Kiss Your Mate Day” is on the 28th (only once a year?).
But the day that I think deserves very special commemoration is April 18. No, not because of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, though we certainly haven’t forgotten that. But it’s also “Newspaper Columnists’ Day” — “dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of columnists and journalists.” This really ought to be a national holiday! How else are readers going to learn about, for instance, Debra Saunders’ often unique perspective, the common sense of Leonard Pitts Jr., Jon Mays wrestling with “Frisco,” John McDowell’s conservative slant and Sue Lempert’s local updates. And how about Jon Carroll’s cats, Michelle Durand’s refrigerator and my great-granddaughter? After all, isn’t it columnists who often offer a unique way of looking at things, bringing a bit of life to the newspaper that it wouldn’t have otherwise?
“Great Poetry Reading Day” is on the same day that we are told to kiss our mate. So go ahead, read some great poetry after you enjoy a good smooch. And we are told that if we aren’t into poets such as Shakespeare or Robert Frost, we should write our own poetry — “It may be looked upon some day as great!” So here goes:
April comes but once a year — A month of sun and spring.
Just choose a day to celebrate — Whatever is your thing.
Last, but not least, April 30 is “National Honesty Day” — but if you want to tell me that my poetry leaves much to be desired, give me a break — a Spring Break, that is.
After all that, let’s hope that the old saying comes true — “April showers bring May flowers.”
Since 1984, Dorothy Dimitre has written more than 700 columns for various local newspapers. Her email address is email@example.com.