Thursday, March 12, 2009
A March madness of my own
“April is the cruellest month…”
I think T. S. Eliot had it wrong. March is by far the worst month. The worst of the worst. Dreary. Brittle. Dismal. It’s the month when Mother Nature shows her whimsical ways. In the flatlands yesterday is was 80 degrees. Today I don’t think it made it up to 40.
Typically in February we see a quick warm up. A few days, maybe a week, where the temps tease with warm breezes and the sky is bright, sunny. Then March muscles in with a misty overcast and a depressing gloom. At the core, it’s an identity issue. Winter? Or Spring?
Thinking of Eliot, I went in search of a poem that might aptly express the animosity I feel for this month. My quick exploration didn’t turn up anything I found prickly enough, but here are a couple of much kinder interpretations.
"March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes
and a laugh in her voice."
- Hal Borland
"Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn."
- Lewis Grizzard
Those little doses of boyish admiration got me to ease up a bit on my loud displeasure over a lousy month. A transitional month. A better perspective would be to find relief in the knowing that in less then ten days it will officially be spring. And then I found this:
"I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring."
- Christina Rossetti
Actually I don’t doubt that spring is on the way. I see it coming by watching the buds on my magnolia grow plump. I’ve witnessed its power by the rapid growth of my allium with only two days of unusual heat. I measure the acceleration by the increasing number of sinus pills I need to take.
Even with the sniffling and snorting, I remain anxious for a quick transformation. I wait and watch and hanker for the steady warmth. But it’s not all a lyrical, poetic yearning. A lot of it is just being peeved that my “transitional” wardrobe is sadly lacking.
Shallowness aside, I throw open my pasty white arms to welcome a brighter day and wave off the passing of a dour companion.