Complex, Contrary, and Happy March


It's almost spring

March is such an interesting time of year. Spring lambs gambol about in greening pastures. Corned beef and cabbage bubbles away in the kitchen. Ceasar meets his unhappy fate on the Ides. And kites with swaying tails rise into the air. Wait — does anyone really fly kites anymore? Let me know if you do or have done.

I did, as a child. Within my memories I can still feel the tug on the string as the kite skittered one way or another, or, worse, dove straight for the ground. That was a heart-in-the-mouth moment, which sometimes ended in success as the kite caught a puff of wind and shot back up into the air. Other times, there was a less lovely end as that tiny, fragile craft crashed into the hard, unforgiving ground. Sometimes the it would survive to rise again. Other times, the poor thing was cast aside as no longer useful, and, if the youthful flier was lucky, a new one was made or bought. As a child, my father made mine. As an adult, I buy them.

But I like this time of year. It isn’t beautiful outside yet. The bloom of the cheerful daffodils is still a month away. The forsythia bushes have yet to show their glorious display. And the sudden arrival of the flickering fireflies is months away. But the dandelions are coming up. Now, there’s memory I could live without, a mess of dandelion greens heaped on my plate during a childhood meal. A spring tonic, my mother called it.  To be fair,  the leaves are packed full of nutrition. They are the perfect antidote to a diet of winter vegetables, I’ll give her that.

Then, there are their yellow blossoms. Gather them up and soak them in water for a while to extract their flowery goodness. Then boil the resulting extraction up with sugar, and you’ll have a delightful syrup, which tastes very much like honey. Now, there’s a treat that makes me smile. Read how to make your own here.

So happy March and if you’re living through snow squalls or enduring a few days of driving rain, remember, there are longer, warmer days ahead.


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