Right Month, Right Season

Thank gawd it’s March. March means Spring. Usually. Last year, March was the coldest month of the year. This year, spring was already well underway before we reached the it.

I don’t much like winter. Frosty mornings are pleasant enough, but generally I find winter to be cold and dark and lifeless, except when it snows, when its cold and light and pretty-yet-dangerous. This year, however, winter never came. All right, the last few months have been a bit chilly and quite wet in Hampshire, and one Thursday in late January I woke up to find a light dusting of snow on the ground. But we haven’t had a proper, frozen-pipe, jack-frost winter at all.

As someone who doesn’t like the season you might think I have no reason to grouch at its non-arrival. But I do. I have two reasons. The first is from the head. Whilst I still hope that the weird weather in recent years is natural, I suspect it’s a sign that we humans might just be making a bit of a mess of our lovely planet (the only one we’ve got, by the way). All those dire warnings I’ve been worrying about (or giving) and
everyone else has been ignoring (or ridiculing) for years might turn out to have substance. Perhaps I should feel smug. I don’t. I feel worried.

The other reason is from my heart. I love England. I love its fields and wood and streams. I love its seasons. This year I noticed snowdrops out in early January. A week later the daffodils in the avenue of lime trees leading up to our village had not only come up but were showing yellow buds. This is not right. Not proper. The sight of the first flowers of spring always lifts my heart, but it should happen in March, not in January. After this initial spurt the flowers slowed down, as though realising their mistake in coming up too early, but I’ve been uneasy at how much colour I’ve seen over the last six weeks.

So I’m glad March is here. Because now spring is allowed, and I can enjoy the right season at the right time. Assuming winter doesn’t finally arrive next week.

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