I have a love-hate relationship with March. I love that it’s the month that heralds the slow transition into spring. Like the final slog up a really steep hill, we just have to get through it. And the climb through March’s ambivalent days isn’t all thankless toil. There’s robins and foolhardy crocuses and newborn lambs. Morning and evening commutes and drives to and from school can finally be completed in the daylight. The earth emerges bleary-eyed into the shocking brightness of it all, the dirty snow melts away, and we remember what our world looks like stripped bare. It’s all kind of exhilarating and hopeful, isn’t it?
But all that earthen nudity and shocking sunshine makes me a bit panicky as well.
From the purely practical standpoint, the seasonal shift adds countless items to the list of things to do. For example, after the recent snow melt the item “pick up random shovels, sleds and debris buried in drifts” was added to mine. Then there’s all the “get the yard ready for the next iteration of life in Wisconsin.” For six years we lived in Arizona, and it was sooooo easy. A change in seasons usually just meant bringing out or putting away one’s jacket. There was no complete turnover of the yard and equipment required to maintain it at that given calendar moment in time. I begin to panic over all of the “I’ll get these things done over the winter” tasks that I never got to. Repainting rooms. Sorting through paperwork. Completing that first novel. Taking up knitting. Reading Important Books. All of these tasks will, be inevitably left to wait until I’m forced indoors once again at the turn of fall into winter.
And spring begins so quickly–I always try and notice it happening but, like the passing of any of the seasons, I never capture it exactly. Being someone who mourns over the passage of time with real, visceral, gut-wrenching anxiety, the change of seasons can be difficult! The other day my youngest came to me during the night, worried about the fact that some day she would die and that she didn’t want her life to move so quickly. Girl, I feel you. Those are big worries for a little person. I should know, because I had them at that age too, coupled with a complicated concern for limbo and eternity born out of Catholic education. I wish I could tell her that these preoccupations get easier, but they don’t. They just get more manageable and predictable. Spring is tricky. Focus on the perennials.
But would I give it up? Absolutely not. Those years in Arizona slid together too quickly, without the bittersweet mile markers of seasons marching visibly onward. So bring on the tulips and the crocuses, bring on the spring rains that scour the salty crust from the Wisconsin landscape. I’ll only get so many springs in my lifetime, and I intend to do my best to wring the essence out of this one. And those piles of indoor projects will just have to wait patiently in the corners once again. The lion of March is prowling at the door.