Painful Truth: March is all about blossoms and bluster

Stormy weather, but the dawning of real spring at last.

They say March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.

The weather here is certainly living up to the “lion” part of the equation so far.

The other day, I headed out for an early dinner with family. It was lightly raining as we pulled out of the driveway, began sleeting within two minutes, which turned to heavy hail that turned the road into a slushy river.

The sun was out again by the time we got to the restaurant.

On the other hand, whether March actually goes out like a lamb is debatable. Maybe it’s more of an ornery billy goat that’s decided to give us a good kicking.

Some years we get a bit of mild weather, sunshine, and a weeks-long shower of cherry blossoms.

Other years, it’s more random bouts of hail, incessant rain, or late cold snaps that leave farmers chewing their nails bloody.

Despite this, early spring remains one of my favourite seasons.

The best thing about March: it’s not February.

February is brief for a reason. No one could take a full 30 days of that month. At 28 days, it’s at least twice as long as it needs to be (and don’t get me started on Leap Years!).

Yes, there’s Valentine’s Day, a desperate attempt to enliven the dreariest and greyest of months. Slathering mid-February with pink hearts is a bit like trying to dress up road kill with tinsel.

It’s useful to remember that in ye olden days, many European countries marked the start of the new year in late March or early April, around Easter or other significant religious celebrations.

That makes sense to me. February feels like the last, lifeless husk of the old year. Then along comes March, all new energy, both destructive and life-giving.

The days are longer, and soon they’ll outstrip the nights and keep expanding until the glorious long twilights of June. The frosts will recede, the winds will die down, and green shoots will emerge everywhere.

There will still be some bad weather – we’re still in Canada, after all – but March is the beginning of the end, at least.

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