Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Today is the last day of March, unlike most people, I have mixed feelings about that. For some reason I like March. Somewhere within me is a streak of wildness that matches March's weather. We fit. We are a pair.
Although I live in land-locked Kentucky, U.S.A., March carries me to other places. Mornings when weather conditions are just so, when consciousness seeps into my brain as I awaken under my cozy, down duvet in my little bed in our stone cottage hearing that certain sound, the sound of wind, that loud roar, the roaring up high in the tops of the trees, I stay snuggled for awhile and listen. Though I know that roar is high up in the trees, I pretend that I am in a little stone cottage that looks down on the rocks and surf somewhere along the coast of Cornwall. That roar comes to me as I imagine the wintertime wind and surf. I know my ancestors came from all four corners of the British Isles: Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Perhaps that sound unlocks hidden genetic memories in my genes.
I had never noticed how pretty March is until the year I accompanied Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer on a business trip abroad. He did almost all the driving, and I had the luxury of looking and looking. We were traveling into or through Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, England, Scotland, and Wales starting the last of February and leaving to fly home on Memorial Day in May, fourteen weeks later. We traveled the tail of winter and spring, spring, spring!
I bought books and pamphlets galore and learned all I could about what I saw including the plants. I learned that the miles and miles and miles of pretty white flowering trees along the fence rows in the distance as we drove through Germany and other countries were Black Thorn; I learned about the plums, the sloe, and sloe gin. I deeply enjoyed their beauty going on and on all day.
I discovered that trees not especially ornamental bloomers such as maples (and others I wondered what they were), such trees in March and/or April, depending on the country and area, sprouted and sported the daintiest, most delicate little things in browns, all shades and tints of browns, puce, rust, reds, yellows. I had never noticed that before, but when I was out and about during that time of year I made the discovery and was totally charmed. I couldn't tell if they were little blooms, juvenile leaves, bracts, or seeds. Every March since then, I have watched for them, and my heart dances when I see all those soft-colored lovelies in the trees.
My paternal grandfather used to say, "If you live through March, you will live another year." Then in March one year, he died. Five years later, in March, my grandmother followed him. When my time comes, I hope I die in March, sail to the tops of the budding trees, and ride the winds to a garden paradise and mansion prepared for me for all eternity.