March comes but once a year—thankfully

March comes but once  a year—thankfully

Feb 22, 2013

March comes but once a year—thankfully

 Reflections Calendar

Most of my friends know I hate March. For me, living through that month in Wisconsin is akin to eating pizza every morning for 31 days—pizza topped with moldy cheese and raw squid sprinkled with lint. Every year, I long for April like Romeo longed for Juliet.

The NIV Bible mentions snow 23 times; 21 times in the Old Testament and two in the New Testament. It also mentions frost, rain, hail, and ice.

“[God] spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes” (Psalm 147:16).

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?” (Job 38:22).

“Does the rain have a father? …From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” (Job 38:28-30).

March—with its maddening mix of rain and fog, and gloomy days decorated with dirty snow and ice—chills my soul as well as my body.

By the time March arrives, Thanksgiving and Christmas are distant memories.

No more warm family gatherings around tables brimming with food and friendly conversation. No more homes filled with the delightful fragrance of pine needles, cinnamon-scented candles, and freshly-baked Christmas cookies.

The spirit-lifting words and melodies of “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World” no longer waft from church steeples. The twinkling, colorful lights that once turned neighborhoods into miniature glowing villages, are dark once again.

March squats on my front steps like a lonely, shaggy dog. It wants to enter my house, but I fight the urge to let it in.

Near the end of March, I sit by the fireplace sipping hot chocolate, curled up on our couch like a contented cat. Tiny spheres of sleet tap on our windows. It’s like Old Man Winter, waning fast, is drumming his thin, icy fingers on the panes, trying to get my attention. “I’m still here,” he taunts.

I ignore his desperate attempts to get me to notice him one last time. Instead, I’m already thinking of April and the joy it holds.

Occasionally, the sun peeks through March’s drab curtain. It flashes and teases, then ducks behind a mountain of gray clouds. But I know it’s a trick. The March sun is a decoy, trying to lull me into the false belief that it’s a joyous month, but I know better.

Why does March linger so long, especially when it’s unwanted and unloved? Can jealousy be a factor?

January is dressed in colorful streamers and sprinkled with confetti; a party animal decked out in a variety of hats.

February is a month of hearts and love, with cupids shooting arrows at unsuspecting lovers.

And April?

April is a doorway, leading from the fading days of winter into the promises of spring.  With its gentle rains and sprouting daffodils, April welcomes the world with hugs and smiles. It’s the month of puddles, bubbling brooks, and warming soil. It might enter the world as the Month of Fools, but it’s also the month of Budding Life.

I find myself paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Where, O March, is your victory? Where, O March, is your sting?”

Although I hate the third month of the year, it does have one positive attribute: the wretchedness of March makes me appreciate the other 11 months even more.

We often need the “downs” of life to help us value the “ups” of life. By suffering through the “bad,” we are all the more thankful for the “good.” So, strangely, a small part of me is actually thankful for March.

I’m also thankful March lasts only 31 days, and that it comes only once a year.

Clip to Evernote