April is a perfect month for doing things. It is, in Virginia, perhaps the only month (other than October) when anything can possibly be accomplished. It’s warm enough that you can open your windows to let in a breeze that smells like greenery, but not yet so swelteringly hot that when you do, you risk imminent death. Before summer arrives with its clouds of mosquitos and its insistence that you sit motionless in a baby pool, here are some things you might do, ranging from the practical to the purely enjoyable:
Go through your home and recycle all the paper that is clogging your desks, tabletops, junk drawers, and in trays. Tear up anything incriminating. Nothing is beyond consideration for discardment, not even old love letters. It’s April; lovers are falling as thick as pollen.
Do the things you would normally do, but outside. I have a wicker chair for this purpose, but you can probably make do with a folding chair, pillow, sleeping bag, or least favorite bedsheet. Bring your musical instrument, beverage, or clean laundry outdoors and notice how everything is better when a breeze is applied to it.
Get into an avoidant dance-off with a wasp. Francis Bacon says that pain occasions a violent return to life, and nowhere is this more keenly felt than while you and a wasp fail very earnestly at trying not to touch each other.
Meet an animal that is not your own. The city is full of cats and friendly dogs on walks. The country, I have heard, also has animals. This idle encounter is not about rescue or permanence. Just enjoy the presence of another creature without the desperate attachment that seeks to turn everything into something that belongs to you, okay? I met a great cat named Maggie the other day, and we spent a wonderful idle moment together before going our separate ways. I only miss her a little bit.
Get caught in a rainstorm, one that you could have planned for but didn’t.
Wake up early and dress in layers. Go out into the chilly morning, and as the day warms, remove layers until you are more exposed to the sun than you have been in months.
Plant something in the earth; even the most blue-veined Stilton cheese flavored residents of the Museum District have put down tulips. My neighbors have planted ten plastic pinwheels in red, white, and blue. They feel the primal pull to sow, and you do too, in a part of you that doesn’t know what a spreadsheet is, but that turns its face toward the wind in this time of year and feels a fierce stirring in the blood to sire children, to get a dog, to eat tubers, to climb something. That part of you that you suppress with tight shoes and your Google Calendar every day is the best part of you; for the love of God, while it is still April, kiss someone, or at the very least, take a walk.