Hope's spring

March is a cornucopia of nubile yearnings and a feast of sensual delights.

There’s something about the month of March. It teases, flirts, seduces and betrays like a lover who shows you heaven and then the door… like Mars after whose honour and amorous exploits, the month is named.

It pursues some ideal and distant object, it marches with steely determination and assaults with haughty resolve.

March is a cornucopia of nubile yearnings and a feast of sensual delights. It’s everywhere and not just in my fertile imagination! You look down and see the brown of the earth, matted with dead twigs and fallen leaves, protesting weakly as you crush them mercilessly in your heartless stride. You look up at endless blue punctuated with happy commas in white, telling stories all their own.

Lining the periphery is a parade of trees flaunting their little buntings of purples, magentas, yellows and greens, weaving as it were, a magic carpet in the air.  You look to the right and there are watermelons tumbling their voluptuousness on the pavements like brazen hussies; oranges that fill the air with citrus scents and the pale, almost apologetic green that clusters over slender grapes filled with tender longing.

You look to the left and you watch flushed strawberries fighting like starlets for their place in the sun and early musk melons flaunting their roundness on beds of straw. You gawk like a shameless voyeur at Nature’s pubescent love affair with March. There’s nothing mellow about this season’s burgeoning lustfulness.

March has so many contradictions that it leaves you reeling with the sheer velocity of its assault.  Dry skin, watery eyes, dusty feet, chapped lips, cracked heels, sweaty palms and hair with so much static, it’s electrifying. Its 31 days make me feel as restless as a fecund cat on the prowl. Its 31 days teaches me to number its days.

March is most significantly a pregnant pause between the dry, empty and sterile winter of yesterday and summer’s lush vivacity waiting to be unleashed. Turgid with hope and longing to see the vernal sun run its course, March is a promise of renewal, of rejuvenation, of resurrection. It stands like a midwife watching and waiting for another birth in the relentless cycle of time. A life, for a death!

I watch like a spectator at a tournament, caught in an endless moment between victory and defeat, life and death. I wait as Creation groans to bring to birth a new day, quiet hope and the promise of abundance. I look for a sign in the wilderness of longing when I hear a faint echo from a poem by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, which grows stronger as I remember: “Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”

 I stand like Moses in Midian before a burning bush, before this awesome revelation, and whisper “O Death where is thy sting? O Grave where is thy victory?”                    

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