Monday, March 4, 2013

In like a lion

A couple of days ago we turned the calendar and welcomed March back into the neighborhood. Feeling a little rusty on March's history, I looked to Wikipedia for some answers.

I was surprised to learn March was the start of the new year until 700BC when Numa Popilius, the second king of Rome, added January and February. Gosh, you think a king would have more important matters on his hands than messing with the calendar.

Named for Mars, the Roman god of war, March was the time of year that war cranked up again. At first I found this quite odd, but then wondered if the warring countries simply made a pact to stop fighting during the harsh winter months. Don't know how well that would work today.

For me, March means none of this. As a child in the north, I often heard that March “came in like a lion and went out like a lamb.” In other words, March ushered in the last of biting cold winds and snowy days. But by month’s end, the lion of winter became the lamb of spring.

March was the season of expectation. Time to put the snow shovel in storage and dust off the golf clubs. It was the season of hope. Robins returned whistling from their summer vacations. Bright yellow daffodils poked their heads through the thawing earth.  

Now that I live in the land of grits, I don’t have to wait for the end of March to see a robin or daffodil.  We have it pretty nice down here.

I also remember March as the month of anticipation. It meant Easter was on the way. Every spring, all six of us kids picked out a new Easter outfit for church. I don’t remember most of my selections, except the year I had my heart set on a Nehru suit. It went out of style as fast as it came in!

What do you like about March? Do you remember buying new clothes for Easter? Did you ever wear an ensemble that would give today’s fashion police a migraine?

What are your expectations and hopes for spring? 

Funny, that expression “Lion and the Lamb” is also biblical. The great hope and expectation that someday, when God’s Kingdom arrives, the Lion and the Lamb will lie down together in peace and love. And that's something we should all work and pray for in every season of life.

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