The word March comes from the word, “Martius” that was originally the first month of the Roman calendar, named after Mars, the god of war. (The new year was changed to the Gregorian calendar in 1752.) March was the season of agriculture and war.
The Anglo-Saxons called the month “hlyd monath,” which means stormy month or “hraed monath” which translates rugged month.
Many years ago in my sixth grade class, our teacher selected a poem for us to memorize each month. We had to go to the front of the class to recite it. Looking back, I am not sure whether the worst part was the memorization or the standing. As I remember, we all survived the discipline of this recitation.
One of my favorite poems was I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by the English poet, William Wordsworth. The first verse is still in my memory bank.
Yesterday, the second bunch of daffodils landed in a jar on my kitchen table, and their spring smells overpowered everything else. These flowers are one of the first tastes of spring in my yard, and they take over the beds. Though the crocuses and hyacinths also have bloomed, their statement is quieter. Daffodils explode.
The daffodils in my yard came from the yard in my first home. They were planted under three white dogwood trees there. When my folks sold the house, I transplanted some of the bulbs. As they have multiplied, they are now in three beds and not one. These sturdy flowers dance with the winds and smile in the rain
Perhaps we should take lessons from the daffodils and choose dancing and smiling.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
March 5: War of 1812 State Meeting in Columbia, SC
March 6: Walnut Grove Plantation Reenactment
March 17-19: SCDAR State Conference