There?s nothing quite like that first day of spring-like weather to subconsciously erase the bitter claustrophobia of an entire winter completely from your memory.
Perhaps it?s the unadulterated kiss of pure golden sunlight on your skin, the faint whisper of sweet pollen wafting through the air, or the insatiable need to write in the style of a lunatical William Wordsworth.
Whatever the reason, when that day came last Monday I decided to take my work to The Great Outdoors.
It?s quite a process, working outside. It?s not like you can just take the laptop on the deck and start knocking out inspired productivity.
First, you have to mix lemonade, track down that portable Bluetooth speaker, find a wireless mouse that works, drag a small table out from the hall closet and wrangle one of those confounding foldable canvas lawn chairs out of its impossibly tight canvas knapsack.
A half hour later, I was ready to get busy.
But after just five minutes in my spring-soaked office space, something happened.
A large black beetle dropped on my head, bounced off my Charlie White-esque mop, landed on my laptop and skittered off, typing an invisible insectile masterpiece on its way across the keyboard.
I?d suddenly had enough of The Great Outdoors.
As I packed everything up to drag back inside, I had a Newtonian epiphany. Much like the apple that fell on the head of that great English physicist and fig-filled cookie inventor, the bug?I named him Johnny?that landed on my head caused a great revelation: Of everything mankind has invented, The Great Outdoors is the greatest.
?Heresy!? you shout. Just hear me out.
We?and by ?we,? I mean people, not you and me personally?all started out outside, living as one with dirt and rain and bugs. This was not an opportune time in history to re-carpet.
So we spent centuries constructing and fine-tuning shelter from the elements: shade from the heat, insulation from the cold, a roof under the rain and a locked door against that neighbor who always needed to borrow a cup of mastodon.
Thousands of years passed and we found ourselves going hours?days, even!?inside the four-cornered confines of particle board and concrete. Suddenly, instead of it taking effort to get inside, it takes effort to go out.
That space that exists outside our patio door, or beyond the city limits, became a destination, and we gave it a name: The Great Outdoors.
It?s an ideal, really?a fantasy duality of roughing it for relaxation. We create a romance of returning to a primitive, stark, rustic way of life. Becoming one with nature: for dust we are and to dust we will return.
And therein lies to problem: The Great Outdoors, it quickly becomes apparent, takes place largely outside. It?s dirty, lacks climate control and contains an awful lot of bugs, most of which will fly up your nostril without giving it a second thought.
That?s why we tend to cap off our return to The Great Outdoors at the end of the weekend. That?s why camping, for many, takes place in an air conditioned and plumbed aluminum box on wheels.
And that?s why, despite it being another beautiful spring day, I?m writing this column inside.