Against all odds, the mild spring- like weather does linger. I do not believe there is a daffodil left, that did not take advantage of the conditions . . . for they are blooming in great numbers. The road that passes by the quiet pastures and fields, through woodlands and to the rabbit patch, is lined with the bright blossoms. They bloom in little clumps, along the edges of the field and by long forgotten homesteads, where fences used to be.
The “Bradford pears” are stunning just now. They are like great billowy clouds of silvery, white flowers and at every turn, I see one, as the trees are quite popular, here. Of course, my peach trees are not to be outdone, and so they too are blooming. Though, I am still not convinced by the flora of the countryside, that winter is all but over, there is more evidence . . . a pair of wrens have built a nest by Jennys’ mailbox. I saw it this past and fair, Sunday morning, as we all had coffee on the porch. Birds are seldom wrong about anything.
My chickens were never wrong about weather. I knew to get the laundry off of the line,if the chickens went in during the day, for rain was coming. They did not mind a fleeting sprinkle, and would continue foraging for the few minutes of a light shower. They knew the difference and acted accordingly. . . .and so I did too.
Today is the first day of March. A light rain is falling and is supposed to fall all day. March is full of plans, for our family. Daddy and Christian have birthdays-and any family with just a “drop of Irish blood” claims it proudly this month. Last year, Will and Jenny hosted the affair. We cooked and decorated all day. Lyla wore a green fairy-like dress and carried a wand with her the whole day. We had corned beef and rye bread-potatoes and cabbage. Mandy, who owns “Pansy & Ivy” brought “Bells of Ireland” for our centerpiece and a shamrock plant in the living room , got all sorts of attention. Jenny had rescued the plant from a clearance rack in the garden center and it has thrived ever since.
March is also the time to fly kites. Daddy made all of our kites out of scraps of plastic and little shards of wood. Mama always had little pieces of fabric, and twine bought for her string beans to “run on”. Somehow, Daddy made kites that flew above the fields til we had trouble seeing them. The kites climbed with force so mighty, that children were likely to tumble forward and drop the twine altogether. When my own children were little, I was determined they too would have memories of flying kites in March. I bought kites, as I have never had any success using tools. On the first windy day, I made quite a ceremony and had the children seated to watch the aerial art of kite flying. I couldn’t get the the thing up for “love nor money”. The kite would rise just above us and then turn and dive with good speed. After a few awful attempts, the children would try to help and it seemed the kite would target one of them to dive upon. . . and every one got a turn. They were squealing and dashing about in sheer fright. There was no chance of our kite ever getting caught in a tree. It was the same, every year. I tried on days when the wind gusts were friendly-and on days when the velocity of the wind was enough to destroy a perfectly good umbrella. The children stood a ways off and were on alert, in case they needed to seek shelter. I have never yet flown a kite.
I was much more suited for hiking and so we often did. When Brant was around nine, we packed a picnic basket and set off for a short trek through the woods, to a very large field surrounded by more woods. It was a favorite place of ours . Sometimes, Grandmama went with us. I remember her climbing a barbed wire fence at the age of seventy five, in those woods . . . and that takes skill. Sometimes we packed up books and read for hours, but one day in March, in that field . . . we found a kite. There was enough string to fly it, but this time, Brant tried his hand at it. In no time the bright, white kite was rising in to a very blue sky. We watched the kite for a good while . . .and no one was injured. I always remember that favorite and long ago day- when it is March. . .and hyacinths are blooming.
“If thou of fortune be bereft, and in thy store, be but left . .
two loaves . . .sell one, and with the dole . . .
buy hyacinths, to feed the soul.” – John Greenleaf Whittier