Summer in the light, winter in the shade

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” —Charles Dickens

I had a professor who believed that March was a cursed month for her. Many of the worst moments of her life happened over the course of several Marches. She often speculated whether her doubt had become a self-fulfilling prophecy: now that she entered each March with wariness and fear, she noticed every hint of bad luck, giving it more weight than perhaps she would in September.

I have another friend who believes in the power of birthday personality forecasts. He is otherwise very logical, intelligent, and scientific, so it surprised me to discover this more “astrological” side of him. He looked up my birthday, March 31st, and apparently learned that a child of that day would excel in careers of writing and teaching.

If you asked me point-blank whether I ascribe to their thinking, I’m not sure I would give an unwavering “yes” in answer. However, I do feel a spiritual kind of connection to my birthday. (I know, I felt weird even typing it out.)

March is not a peaceful month; it is a riotous one, full of bright daffodils and buffeting winds. It is a month of in-betweens, of ominous hintings. “Beware the Ides of March,” hears Caesar, and promptly ignores the warning. “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” they say of Marches, and in the days leading up to my birthday, I look forward to the bite and playful kick of both.

Born on a 31, just at the tail-end of something, right before the Fool’s Day – that’s me. Not quite of March in full, but neither still of April. I am of a pair with March 1st, St. David’s Day, and the Welsh lover in me delights in that. And, like March, I am a person of contrasts.

I have days when a wind inside me blows and howls and screams. Like the March wind, it is wordless and, sometimes, uncontainable. But I also have days when the sun comes out and lines everything in soft gold warmth. Trees bud. Tenacious flowers bloom. They may be frosted away tomorrow, but all the same, they live and hope today.

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