Happy March to all of you, and it’s almost spring!

Photos were taken by the author

March, master of winds, bright minstrel and marshal of storms that enkindle the season they smite.

― Algernon C Swinburne (March: An Ode)

I was interested to come across this very long poem by Swinburne, an ode to the month of March. He is credited with being a master of lyrical imagery as we see here in this complex description of March winds. That something should enkindle- arouse or inspire- the spring that it is at the same time battering. Reminds me of the adage about our tribulations making us stronger. And I bet it is true of the weather in March, perhaps in the pruning of the forest and the melting of the snow. Maybe this can be a kind of consolation as the terrifying winds ravage us this month.

View from the waterfront in Gardiner, Maine. The ice is leaving the Kennebec River, breaking up on its own, pretty early, without even the assistance of the icebreaker we usually get to watch.

This week in cooking

A Quiche of Greens 

Thankfully, our chickens- the ones who survived the very cold winter, the ravages of fox and eagle, and other enemies, anyway– have started laying eggs again and it is time to make crustless quiche. I love this recipe for its simplicity and delicious taste as well as for the ways it can be adapted to the ingredients I have on hand. You can use any vegetables on hand as well as any combination of milk, heavy cream, half, and or yogurt. Mine was made of cream and yogurt this time. And lots of big fat eggs, as if the chickens had been storing up for months to make these.

Three of my granddogs, Rory the German Shepherd, Scooter, and Rizzo, the Boston Terriers, watching for squirrels out the door. The older dog, Fatty was stretched out on the rug in front of the fire.

Here in Maine, Winter Still Has us in a Stranglehold But the Light Beckons us to Move Toward Spring

The photo was taken by the author

In March winter is holding back and spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too. — Jean Hersey

The start of a new month is always an inspiration to me. It asks me to rethink what I have been doing, to take a deep breath, and start again with perhaps a revised plan. I have been rethinking all the things I have volunteered to do, whether they bring me joy, are crucial to other people, bring in needed income, or provide opportunities to learn new things. All of the things I am doing fit at least one of these criteria, yet I am up in the night worried about some of them and feeling rushed and stressed. I am struggling to go forward and something is pulling me back. Just like the month of March. I will no doubt come to some resolution, some comfortable place eventually. Meanwhile, I will try to discern a clear path through the piles of snow in front of me.

I am pushing to learn several new things at once (poetry, podcasts, and self-publishing), without letting my inexperience or lack of success get me depressed or slow me down. I am trying to finish up some old things (my mother’s estate taxes, her journals, a book I am editing)as well as keep a bunch of habits that have become consistent (daily piano practice, yoga, cooking)from falling apart now that I am adding new ones (writing every day, walking outside). It is a lot and I could always run away or quit everything if I got desperate.

But I am, instead, resorting to making lists and prioritizing and setting the timer so I don’t get too caught up in one part of the task and taking breaks to cook, walk, read, etc. As long as I stay calm about this I am okay. Best not to think too far ahead, take one task at a time, then take a break and relax. I try to go outside between tasks.

The sun is the best part of March because when it is out screaming bright, bouncing off of the snow, it is so hot and warm, you just want to suck it in through your pores. It makes me want to take off my big quilted coat and let the sun onto my skin. I try to get out in it as often as I can.

How about you? Are you pushing to get something done, to accomplish something new that will be a great benefit to you or others. And is something holding you back at the same time? Some kind of doubt or resistance or laziness. Use the energy of spring to move forward. Latch onto that extra sunlight and take a giant step.

Published by Jean Anne Feldeisen

I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Mildred Shropshire and Theodore Felsberg Jr. I was raised in Galloway Township and graduated from Oakcrest High School in southern New Jersey in the Sigma 67 Class in 1967. I attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, and graduated from Stockton University in Galloway, NJ, in 1974 with degrees in Philosophy, English Literature, and (almost) music. After that, I taught piano to local children and adults in the 70s and 80s, had a catering business, "Jean's in the Kitchen," from 1980 to 1992, then went to graduate school at Rutgers Camden to obtain my Masters's Degree in Social Work. Since 1996 I have worked as a therapist and counselor, first in New Jersey for five years and then, when our family moved to Maine, in Augusta, Maine, for five years. For the past 17 years, I have had a private psychotherapy practice in Gardiner, Maine, During the pandemic, I packed up and moved my office home to Washington, Maine. On the year of my seventieth birthday, I decided to write and self-publish a memoir about our parents' World War II romance, Dear Milly. I began blogging on Medium in earnest in 2020 and have posted more than 265 stories, including a block of stories about my catering career which I hope to turn into a book in the next year. I have been writing and collecting poetry since childhood but never showed it to anyone. Recently, I learned how valuable it could be to join a group for feedback and support for my writing. I have taken several courses and written many poems, and recently had several poems accepted for publication. Off in a new direction, again.

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