The first day of March should be considered a holiday. I’m talking a full blown, no holds barred celebration complete with music, dancing, bonfires, and revelry!
Why, you may ask, especially if you live a lot closer to the equator than I do. Why? The official explanation is that the first of March is considered to be the first day of “meteorological spring”. That is, the typical coldest 90 days during the calendar year, December 1-February 28, are behind us.
In my mind, winter officially loses its death grip when the calendar page turns over. Yes, we may still have some nights of subzero temperatures, and you can expect a snowstorm or two. But when March arrives, whether as a lion or a lamb, the weather is guaranteed to get warmer. Sooner rather than later. Snow will melt on a sunny day and freeze with a solid crust at night. Patches of open ground will be revealed. The cool sweet smell of damp earth will permeate the air at twilight.
The warmth of the sun and the motion of flowing water will work together to break through the fragile ice on the Kettle River. The newly opened patches of water will attract a pair of trumpeter swans or Canada geese or hooded mergansers. Kestrels and red winged blackbirds will appear over every marsh and field as the tawny grasses emerge from their winter snow cover.
And I will emerge once again from what always seems like the long sleep of winter. I will plant seeds, which is after all one of the most optimistic acts in the world. I will bask in the warmth of a sunny afternoon at the south facing window by the wood stove, and not know which is warming me more. In my hands will be a musical instrument playing tunes that seem just a bit more lively than I played a month ago.
Then I will go outside, running, laughing, filling my lungs with cool air at sunset. And so it begins again, as it always does.