April is the dream of May flowers and gardens that traditionally mean peace, understanding and friendships among peoples.

This dream also includes full weeks of summer pageants, stage settings for gala balls, concerts and Shakespeare festivals, wildlife areas, restored villages, parks and historic sites; it spans America's geography and it covers history.April is Utah deserts where every spring flower is a product of many subtle relationships between plants and animals and soils and climate - a lesson in the real meaning of ecology . . . It is Shakespeare's daffodils "that come before the swallow dares, and he takes the winds with beauty."

It is the song thrush perched up on the topmost branch of the apple tree, his speckled front shining in the spring sunshine, outsinging April's other birds . . . And it is also the brisk slap of a baseball into a catcher's mitt, an exciting first sound of spring.

During a brief interlude, while the buds on trees and bushes are starting to swell toward fruition, the pussy willows bring beauty to the edges of moist places. When the willows open their buds and the gray dots make patterns in the sunshine, we know a new season is at hand.

April is the sun moving higher and the days getting longer. It is greenhouse temperatures rising and vents being opened wider, but being closed snugly at night. It is also planting hardy seeds - and having the patience to hold the tender ones until May when the frosts have passed. And there is this word of caution from Queen Margaret in "King Henry VI, Part II":

"Now 'tis spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden, And choke the herbs for want of husbandry."

April is the miracle of growth. It is the bud and the sweet, solemn wonder of its mysterious beginning. - H.L.