Friday, March 20, 2009

March in Different Places

It was warm and sunny the other day, and the birds were singing like maniacs. Spring was just about to break forth in full blossom, and it felt good to be alive.

I walked to the gym in just a light jacket, not my usual sweatshirt, heavy coat, and gloves. I saw a few crocuses in somebody's tiny front garden. It's March in the Northeast--which means a little more cold weather, some nasty rain and wind, but the promise of spring in the offing.

I left Lower Alabama a year and a half ago, where March is spectacular. It's too soon to be really humid, and the azaleas and Japanese cherries are in full bloom. Temperatures are in the 70's. Everybody is happy.

I used to hate March when I lived in New York City in the 1960's and 70's, because I was haunted by memories of glorious March in the South. I couldn't get used to the rain here. Rain in Alabama is gentle and almost warm; it doesn't hit like icy bullets whipped from one side to the other. It just surrounds you, lazily, like a veil of benign moisture, saying, "Pardon, me, ma'am, I'm just here for the grass and flowers." The azalea bushes, big as small buildings, are covered in their bright pink blossoms. Here and there are blooming trees--redbuds, dogwoods, and fruit.

March brings bitter-cold rain here. But as you acclimate to the change of seasons, you appreciate March in particular. It will be spring tomorrow. (I know, they say the 20th is the first day of spring, but I remember when it was the 21st and it will always be the 21st to me. Besides, it won't really begin to warm up until next week.) We have had some pleasant days already. The leaves on the trees seem to be thinking about breaking out. Those crocuses have already made their statement. And March is almost over.

But I just looked out the window, and it's snowing!


Nan said...

I just love the Alabama sun's words. Perfect, perfect. The whole thing with the start of spring is when the sun goes into Aries. Some years it's the 20th and other years it may be the 21st.

Mary Lois said...

Nan, my late husband was born on the first day of spring! Easy birthday to remember--March 21. Then one year that wasn't the first day of spring any more, but we always thought it was.

That was the Alabama rain talking, not the sun. But the sun comes for the flowers too!

Nan said...

ooops, meant the rain, of course. I must be in a dream of warm sunshine, which we most decidedly do not have. :<)

Dennis said...

New York in Spring is the most beautiful place. You can spend your whole life in New York and NOT see everything there is to see. I loved NYC when it snowed. Use to walk down 5th Ave. in the early mornings and it was like a winter wonderworld. The Village in the Spring was beautiful. The old Village that is. Anyone remember the Kettle of Fish Bar dwon there?? Bruno/Bruce Willis use to tend bar there when there were Beatniks. Yep that sure was a long time ago.