Hal Borland muses on March


“March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievious smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice. She knows when the first shadbush will blow, where the first violet will bloom, and she isn’t afraid of a salamander. She has whims and winning ways. She’s exasperating, lovable, a terror-on-wheels, too young to be reasoned with, too old to be spanked.

March is rain drenching as June and cold as January. It is mud and slush and the first green grass down along the brook. March gave its name, and not without reason, to the mad hare. March is the vernal equinox when, by the calculations of the stargazers, Spring arrives. Sometimes the equinox is cold and impersonal as a mathematical table, and sometimes it is warm and lively and spangled with crocuses. The equinox is fixed and immutable, but Spring is a movable feast that is spread only when sun and wind and all the elements of weather contrive to smile at the same time.

March is pussy willows. March is hepatica in bloom, and often it is arbutus. Sometimes it is anemones and bloodroot blossoms and even brave daffodils. March is a sleet storm pelting out of the north the day after you find the first violet bud. March is boys playing marbles and girls playing jacks and hopscotch. March once was sulphur and molasses; it still is dandelion greens and rock cress.

March is the gardener impatient to garden; it is the winter-weary sun seeker impatient for a case of Spring fever. March is February with a smile and April with a sniffle. March is a problem child with a twinkle in its eye.”

Hal Borland: Sundial of the Seasons, 1964

5 thoughts on “Hal Borland muses on March”

  1. Oh no – not my writing – guess I didn’t make that clear enough. This is by Hal Borland from his collection of essays called, “Sundial of the Seasons”.

    He’s wonderful – my absolute favorite nature writer. I probably will suggest one of his books to the Whorled Leaves group when it is my turn.

  2. Laura,
    I so thoroughly enjoy your blog. Would it be okay to put a link to it on my blog? My family and friends would appreciate your blog, also.
    When I read “March is a tom-boy” I just wanted to put on my Wellies and run around in my yard, yelling like a maniac. Thank goodness spring is close! I could SMELL it this morning.

  3. Can you tell that I love blogs, my own and others? I was perusing some of your archived posts and came across the photo of your brothers and you on the beach when you were children. What a sweet pic…and judging from the antics of your brothers, a rare moment! When I read that your dad had passed in November 2004, I gasped. I lost my dad in October 2004, and we did a slideshow of sorts at his memorial service. 8 HUGE velcro boards with photos of Dad and us and all his friends and memory upon memory.
    It was nice to hear some laughter among the tears at his service, like you mentioned in your post.

  4. Susan,

    Go ahead and add your link – I’m glad you like what I’m doing here! Although the thought of comments from your FIL makes me a bit nervous 😉

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