Monday, March 1, 2010

A New Month and Perhaps Some Memories

I turned the page on the calendar in my kitchen and our home office this morning. It's nice to begin a brand new month, kind of like starting out on a whole new chapter in a book. I like some months better than others, and I am willing to bet that most people have months they like and some they would rather skip. November and March were both dreary months in the Chicago area where I grew up, so they both land at the bottom of my list of assessing months. (If I had such a list!)
But March in Kansas is definitely better, not great, but better. We're sure to have at least one March snow day and the winds can bite and sting in temperatures that aren't quite warm yet. But it's the beginning of spring here, daffodils and crocuses pop their heads out of the cold ground, seeking sunshine and warmth. The best part of March for me is that April is rushing up to bring the warm days and early flowers we all enjoy. This year March is coming in like a lamb. I hope that doesn't mean the lion will be waiting at the other end.

I've written several essays using a month as the topic. Most of them involve memories from long ago but also some things from present day life. As a writing exercise, you might try writing your memories and thoughts about March. Even if you're not a regular writer, it would be something to pass on to your children and grandchildren. One I wrote two years ago is below. It is more about my present day life than the Marches of my childhood.

Musing On March

Most people know that old saying "If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb." And it works in reverse, as well.

Today in Kansas, March slipped in like a sweet little lamb. She brought clear skies, sunshine and a temperature to reach 68 by mid-afternoon. What bliss after one of the worst winters Kansas has had in a long, long time.

Along with all those good things, March winds are going to blow today. They'll whip through the trees, which are still recovering from the devastation of the December ice storm. The wind will roll across the Flint Hills with glee, bending the prairie grasses like pieces of cooked pasta. The wind will skip across rivers, stir up the sandtraps on golf courses, create havoc with hairdos and swirl dirtpiles when found. It doesn't matter a bit, however, because those south winds bring warm air from the gulf to our state. So, blow wind, blow. Send kites dipping and dancing through the sky.

Our town has a St. Patrick's Day celebration that grows larger every year. A Blarney Breakfast, races for runners and walkers, and plenty of green beer highlight the day in an area near the Kansas State University campus. Irish music blares through loudspeakers, and on that particular Saturday, everybody is Irish! As for me, I'm Irish every day--at least half my heritage is from that green, green land.

This year, we also celebrate Easter in March, a holiday tht is both religious and commercial. Whether you celebrate one part of both, it's an important part of the year. For me, Holy Week reigns, and I plan the rest of my activities around church services on Thursday, Friday and Sunday of that week. But I love the commercial part, too, the many decorations and early spring flowers, trees budding, lambs births--all those things that tell of rebirth and awakening. But don't all those things stem from the Easter story of the Resurrection? For me, they do.

One more thing March may bring is another snowstorm or possibly another ice storm. Kansas almost always gets snow at least once in this third month of the year. I remember one bad ice storm that frosted trees and shrubs in the middle of March one year. The best part about March snow or ice is that it rarely lasts more than one day.

Welcome March!

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