March is a time of hope. After the rains and cold winds of November, the snow in December and the cold days of January and February, we expect better things from the third month of the year. The calendar agrees with us – March 20 is the first day of spring. It says this in black and white on the page.
When I lived on the farm, I used to pore over seed catalogues and plan my garden in early March. Should I try out that new variety of beans this year, the one that was said to “double the yield?” Maybe I’d try those cute mini tomatoes. Would it be worth the trouble to plant cantaloupes? The climate would not be very kind to them, but oh, it would be nice to have my own cantaloupes. And, for sure, I’d find some new flower plants – something a little special. I tried for years to grow a rose bush, but it never lasted more than a season for me. At least dreams are free!
I also started a few seedlings at the same time. New greens sprouting on my windowsill always brightened my days and gave me hope. The more the seedlings grew and became stronger, the more I was reassured that spring would soon arrive. The sun would warm up the earth and I could put away boots and parka, mitts and scarf, and go outside without dreading the bite of the arctic winds.
Something about March assures me of the ever-present power of nature for renewal. There might still be some snow and sleet for a while, but underneath all that, the earth is waking up from its slumbers, and before long, plants will be ready to peek through the soil again.
But March is the time of hope – not celebration just yet. It’s not unusual to find that some mild weather and sunny skies turn suddenly into a ferocious blizzard, making us wonder if winter is making a comeback. But fortunately, this is just winter’s last attempt to show us who’s boss. It doesn’t last, and when the huffing and puffing is over, winter quietly slinks away and leaves room for spring.
– Joyce Slobogian writes from Brandon, Manitoba and is the
author ofToDieFor, available at Pennywise Books in Brandon, and online at Amazon.com.