Monday, March 16, 2009
March is a time of drips and puddles as shimmering ponds appear in the low-lying areas where grass lay dormant in winter and grew thick in the summer. The spring rains cause creeks to swell and triple their size and chunks of ice imitate melting cubes in a glass of lemonade. But the month which straddles winter and spring, begins with bitter winds and bursts of snow that continue to grip the northern regions. Yet March can also be blessed with days when warm winds blow and we have faith the spring thaw will arrive and the winter winds will lose their punch.
March winds continue to blow, even when the temperature edges above 40 and jackets were unzipped but left on for fear of a parental scolding about “catching your death of pneumonia.” It is impossible not to feel one’s blood running swiftly like sap in the trees as the biting wind harkens back to youthful springs.
The older we get the stronger the wind gets, and it’s always in our face, but forget not the earthly delights of feeling your bare feet in the cool spring grass as the March winds play with your hair, blowing puffs and strands in a wild disarray around your head. When a great wind is blowing, it gives you either vivid imagination or a nagging headache.
Botanists say trees need the powerful March winds to flex their trunks and branches, so the sap is drawn up to nourish the budding leaves. Who was it that said, “When the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by?” Perhaps we need the gales of life in the same way, though we dislike enduring them. It is an all too human frailty to suppose a favorable wind will blow forever.
When the March winds blow in like a lion, I always worry for the daffodils as they begin poking their green tips through the cold crust of soil and start opening their yellow heads. Will they survive the force of the wind, or will they bend in compliance to the greater blowing power? I have found, no matter the strength of the blowing March winds, the daffodils survive the onslaught of gale and hale, and live to hold their heads up high.
Children love the March winds, all the better to fly a kite. The same winds which blow the birds about the sky are also the ones which toss the kites so high. Flipping and swirling with no care of its own, the winds cruise on with a mind of their own as if trying to make a last curtain call from the bitter to sweet.
So if the March winds come in like a lion, the old wives will tell you, it should go out like a lamb. Winter has past and spring sunshine begins to glow, sending a welcome as birds begin to chatter and flowers begin to bloom. Gone is the pearly snow and icy crystals, the Earth has started to warm and a new song is on the breeze. A time for rebirth and renewal, fresh starts and clean slates, a new picture of what the March winds mean to me.