March came flying around the corner, much of our surprise; we said goodbye to chilly February and began to feel as if spring was finally getting out of bed. There’s something about March that makes you realise the year has really ‘started’; and January and February, that indistinguishable, post-Christmas blur, seems to melt away once the month of March rolls around.
The sun starts to show itself for a few unseasonably warm days, showers of rain fade into a burst of optimistic hazy sunshine and timid shoots of green growths begin to peep out of the muck. Those carpets of crocuses and glades of bluebells are only weeks away. It’s a month of changes, of rebirth as we wake from winter sleep.
March somehow encapsulates optimism.
While doing a bit of reading, we came across the term, ‘Ides of March’. After a bit of research – and consulting our school-era Julius Caesar notes – we see it as a meaning that comes around not just in March, but every 31-day month; it’s basically the cutting point of a month, and everything after is a countdown to the next. And here we were thinking it was supposed to stand for something bad!
In the Roman calendar, it also stood for a time in which you had a deadline to settle your debts. For a more modern take, it seems like a moment that you look back on what you have achieved in the previous two weeks, and a time to plan for the end of the month and what you can achieve before the 31st of that month.
With work, family and the general business of the world we don’t really seem to take each day as it is, always looking forward to things in the future, like the weekend, better weather, payday …. Having a ‘half time’ on the 15th of March can give one something to look forward to: a halfway point, a high-five on the side of the marathon road. Sometimes we need to split something in half to remind us that we are still on the way and there’s more to come.
Spring in Dublin comes with ups and downs: today it rained, sleeted, snowed and the sun came out all at once! Ireland beat France in their Six Nations Match 26–14 - even more special as it was played on home ground, the players chasing each other across the grass through snow and hail. The snowdrops are showing their sleepy heads, the Easter food produce is coming into the show: wild garlic, beetroot, rhubarb.
It indeed is the month for waking up and shaking off the winter blues. There’s so much to look forward to – just take it one day at a time!