Tuesday, March 9, 2010

O What to Write of March’s Plight

“Ah, March! We know thou art kind-hearted, spite of ugly looks and threats, and, out of sight, art nursing April’s violets.” --Helen Hunt Jackson

I will admit that I have struggled with gathering my thoughts to write this column. It’s not that I had a lack of ideas; it’s not that I couldn’t formulate the ideas into written word, but I coveted originality.

Oh, I could write how March is deemed as the month observance of the American Red Cross or Woman’s History. But these topics would confine me to history, statistics, and possibly one example story. I then researched the special days of March—March 1 being National Pig Day to March 31 being Tater Day. Then, I had the all familiar suggestions of St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, the lion and lamb, and the ides of March. I had ready responses for each topic thrown at me.

“I’m not Irish. What would I write about green beer, shamrocks, and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow?”

“The calendar may say Spring, but the dirty snow piles say otherwise.”

“I really don’t understand the whole lion and lamb connection with March. Why doesn’t May come in like a goat and go out like a horse?”

“Ah, yes… the ides of March. William Shakespeare wrote, ‘Beware of the ides of March.’ I’ll beware of the ides once I know what it is!”

The month of March was clearly mocking me… as well as my blank computer screen. It then occurred to me that my struggling was somewhat representative of March. March is a month of the unknown or of transition. It doesn’t know whether it wants to be Spring one day and Winter the next.

March holds an element of uncertainty. The vast majority of people don’t like uncertainty. I’m no different. I like my days planned, my assignments before me, and especially my writing outlined. But is uncertainty really that bad? The word does possess negative connotation. It gives a sense of being not in control, a feeling abhorred by society.

Uncertainty allows for the unexpected. How would life be different if every detail of a day would be known before it happened? Would life be as exciting? Would the same emotions be experienced? I would venture to guess the overwhelming emotion felt would be fear—not of the unknown, but the known.

March can be ugly. March can be threatening. March can be uncertain. But without experiencing March, the April violets can’t be relished. In times of life’s uncertainty, hold on to the promise of April violets.