March Lions

snow covered lion statue

Snow covered lion in Greenwich CT 2013

Outside is a winter wonderland. Snow blankets the ground and frosts the trees in virginal white. The sun casts a cheerful glow over the one of the last gifts of winter. The fog and snow of the morning has ended allowing the snowplows to catch up, making the commute home quite the reversal from that of last evening, and the commute in this morning. A deer forages along the woods across the gorge, sleek and fat, her ears perked to assess any danger.

Two days ago it was 50 degrees, and is expected to be so again tomorrow. Winter breathes her last icy blows as Spring creeps in behind her. This seesaw helps all of us to adjust to the changes even though we rail against it. 

The slow freeze and thaw allows, most often, for ice and snow to melt gradually into our creeks and rivers and to be taken up by the ground as it thaws. The easing into warm weather extends our tasks so that we may become accustomed to our new range of work after our winter idleness.

That may not be so obvious to most of us anymore.

What if Spring came like the turning of a switch? Within a week we would be knee deep in lawns and weeds and our planting tasks would overwhelm us. In CNY think of May without the warm-up of April. Mud season I think would be worse too. If all of the frost heaved at once, I think we would see the destruction of even paved roads not to mention sinking in our own lawns.

March often brings us our worst storms. Thick and heavy snow that is just warm enough to be incredibly greasy. The heavy blankets cause limbs to break off, and the cold can be especially destructive if trees have been coaxed to bud out too early. Ice storms create an atmosphere of a fairy tale wonderland, but can be especially destructive.

I was born the end of March in 1953. According to a weather archive for NYC, my birthday was a cold trough between two spikes of around 60 degrees. It appears it was probably raining. This report is for NYC and the weather could have been very different 20 miles NW and further inland.

I am enjoying the view from my post at the window. Catching up on the news, from the situation in the Ukraine which I have no hope of understanding anytime soon, to the ongoing political lunacies over gays, religion, guns and poverty is a lesson in futility that makes me, like the groundhog in February, just want to climb back into my burrow and forget the world.

Looking out at this promise of fertile soil, adequate water and an opportunity to meld my life with its life is what gives me hope.