March winds and April showers, bring forth May flowers.—Nursery rhyme inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer
Tempestuous March opened meteorological spring yesterday with a whisper, rather than a shout. In like a lamb…
Does that mean March will go “out like a lion”?
Those of us in the tallgrass prairie region know that with March, anything is possible.
Willful, changeable, whimsical March.
March is thaw season. Mud season. Melt season. Even as the ice vanishes by inches in prairie ponds and streams…
…we know the white stuff hasn’t surrendered. Not really.
March is the opening dance between freeze and thaw.
Snow and rain. Fire and ice.
It’s a teasing time, when one day the snow sparkles with sunlight, spotlighting the desiccated wildflowers…
…the next, howling winds shatter the wildflowers’ brittle remains.
March is shadow season. Light and dark. Sun and clouds.
It’s been so long. So long since last spring. So many full moons have come and gone.
We remember last March, a month of unexpected fear. Shock. Grief. Anxiety for what we thought were the weeks ahead…
…which turned into—little did we know—months. A year. Hope has been a long time coming.
But now, sunshine lights the still snow-covered prairie.
Deep in the prairie soil, roots stretch and yawn.
Seeds crack open.
A new season is on the way.
In March, anything seems possible.
Hope seems possible.
The nursery rhyme “March winds and April showers, bring forth May flowers” is likely adapted from the prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. There, it reads a bit inscrutably for modern readers: “Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote… . ” Chaucer, who was born sometime between 1340-45, is called “the first English author” by the Poetry Foundation. Troubled by finances, he left The Canterbury Tales mostly unfinished when he died in 1400, possibly because “the enormousness of the task overwhelmed him.” Chaucer is buried in Westminster Abbey; the space around his tomb is dubbed the “Poet’s Corner.”
Join Cindy online for a class or program this spring from anywhere in the world. Visit http://www.cindycrosby.com for more.
Sunday, March 7, 4-5:30pm CST: Katy Prairie Wildflowers, offered through Katy Prairie Conservancy, Houston, Texas. Discover a few of the unusual prairie wildflowers of this southern coastal tallgrass prairie. Register here
Thursday, March 11, 10am-noon CST: Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History is a book discussion, offered by Leafing through the Pages Book Club at The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. (Morton Arboretum members only) Registration information here.
Friday, April 9, 11:30a.m-1pm CST: Virtual Spring Wildflower Walk —discover the early blooming woodland and prairie plants of the Midwest region and hear their stories. Through the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. Register here.