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