I'd like to be making a pinwheel or a wand, or a seed planter out of an egg carton. I'd like to be dying eggs with onion skins or filling a rain stick with dried beans, or making a bird feeder from a pine cone and peanut butter, or a planet from papier mâché -- or a mask.

I wouldn't mind imagining I'm a salamander right now, or a leaf bud on a birch tree.

Monday is Earth Day, and the calendar is full of gloopy, glittering crafts and projects to celebrate. It's full of hikes and cleanup days and hands-on ways to grub in the mud, too.

But I will have to celebrate in my own time, and for now in simple ways, because right now I am buried under a mountain of Summer Previews. I am gathering calendar information for the summer, mid-May to Labor Day -- if you have events planned, please send them in! -- the deadline is Friday.

I love this gathering, this chance to see what everyone is planning for the summer. The weight of all those calendars is the mass and sum of the creative energy we're generating, and it's a gleeful thing to contemplate.

Most of all, I love finding patterns. Two or three or four events from different places touch the same subject, draw from the same source, and when I think about them together, I see more in each one.

But it's good to remember that all of the pieces of paper I'm looking at will become flesh-and-blood events.


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They'll become outdoor concerts, mandolin music, new plays and new transformations of old ones, Puck in the wood at night.

So while I'm talking to people and writing stories, gathering events and archive diving for photos, playing with colors and tracking down art festivals and horse pulls and strawberries ... I'll take a few minutes, here and there, to remember that it's April.

I'm still listening for the first peepers. But yesterday, when I came out to climb into my car, I heard a cardinal singing, low-high, deep and clear. Maybe I'll write a poem -- or make myself a wand for dancing with on the lawn.