Please, March, in like a lamb. Also, out like a lamb, if you don’t mind. It’s just that I have much less tolerance for extremes in all things, and where I once enjoyed a good storm standing on the porch as if lashed to a spar, all dramatic with wild hair dripping spray, now I just want to nap.
It was a family trait, this standing in the open door as soon as the tornado sirens sounded. My father started it, and then my siblings and I gathered close behind him, pushing for advantage to be the first one blown off to Oz.
I think it disgusted my mother, and she figured the sensible ones, if there were any, would return to the safety of, if not the basement, an interior room, and she never called for us, yelled at us, or pleaded. She wasn’t wasting her well-being or her breath on such a spectacular group of nincompoops.
I get my kicks on Netflix now, where I help my Scandinavian and British colleagues solve crime. I am in actual danger only rarely, like when I drop the remote and I have to crawl around to find it. It hurts my knees and sometimes I get wedged between the wall and sofa, where I spend several upsetting minutes, contemplating my derisive attitude toward the Life Alert necklace, and feeling shame for how often I made fun of “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
I hope for a March of calm, one where the patio furniture stays put and the rains are gentle and restorative. I enjoy the sun slanting in that particular way as it arcs toward its summer home and the nights are cold, but only blanket cold, not big socks, down comforter, wear a toboggan to bed cold. I hope for March mornings, brisk and bright.
March is meant to be spent wandering the home stores and Rural King. There are packets of seeds to peruse, new garden gloves to try on, hoses to access. Hoses are the bane of my existence. I used to buy cheap ones, but they kinked so horribly I bit the bullet and purchased a heavy duty hose. While I was at it, I thought I should get one a hundred feet long, and I could barely drag it around my yard. It crushed my tender flowers and I had to sit down throughout the chore of watering, because it exhausted me.
Now I pick up those lightweight pocket hoses when I see them on sale. I treat them as consumables, knowing eventually they will rupture and die, and then I go to the garage and get another one from the shelf where they sit, stacked up like surplus paper towels.
March is for cleaning windows, the better to watch the fledgling spring arrive. It is for sprucing up around the yard, raking, buying bags of mulch, painting the wrought iron on the rare warm day. March gives us our last chance for snow, which will be thrilling to await, but disappointing upon arrival. It will be a heavy snow and short-lived, and in a huff we will wonder why it didn’t have the good grace to show up on Christmas Eve.
March gets props because it puts an end to February, and we love that about it. March prepares us for Easter, for planting, for moving our lives outside. We get that extra hour of light in the evening and we get to put away our heaviest clothes. March points us, decidedly, toward spring, with dogwood and redbud and the scent of slowing warming earth. And about time.