Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Merry Month of March

"March is a month of considerable frustration - it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away."

- Thalassa Cruso -

According to the Georgian calendar, March is the third month of the year. This was originally the first month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the Roman god of war for it was during this month that many wars took place; hence, it became known as The Month of War, so every year in the month of March the Romans held a ceremonial festival to Mars,. It was supposed this would insure peace in the city for a year.The ancient Romans later made January 1st the beginning of the year, and March became the third month on the calendar. 

March is a special month. First of all, it's Irish American month, a month to celebrate our Irish heritage and honor the contributions Irish Americans have made. In the Northern Hemisphere March ushers in the Spring and signals the end of Winter, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it signals the end of Summer.  On the 15th we have the Ides of March and on the 17th, we'll celebrate St. Patricks day.  An, of course, there is my birthday on the 23rd. 

We often hear that March ' if it comes in like a lamb, will go out like a lion. If it comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.' Thus, if the first day of March is stormy, and the last day is mild and warm.

The stormy March has come at last,
With wind, and cloud, and changing skies;
I hear the rushing of the blast
That through the snowy valley flies.

- William Cullen Bryant -

The daffodil is the birth flower of March. Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus.The Romans brought the Daffodil, also known as the Jonquil, back to Britain because it was thought that the flower's sap would heal wounds. Unfortunately, the sap of the flower actually worsened wounds by irritating them further. Daffodils symbolize chivalry, respect, modesty and faithfulness. respect, regard and unrequited love, and, because it is one of the first flowers of spring, it is, therefore, a symbol of rebirth.  The story of Narcissus which follows also includes the story of Echo, a nymph who falls in love with him.

According to an ancient legend, Echo was a beautiful wood and mountain nymph who was fond of telling stories and singing songs. One day, while in the woods, Echo came upon Zeus and the other nymphs and knew he was not supposed to be there, so, when she saw Hera, his jealous wife, she decided to distract her.  She did tell Hera that Zeus had indeed come into the woods, but only because he had been searching for Hera, and when he could not find her, he returned to Mt. Olympus. However, Hera quickly discovered that Echo had lied and in a rage, sentenced Echo to a life of using her lovely voice only to repeat the last words of what other’s had said.

Shortly thereafter, Echo saw the most handsome boy named Narcissus lost and roaming the woods. Since she could not speak first, she waited for him to call out, “Is there anyone here?” To which Echo answered, “Here!”

Narcissus saw no one so he called out, “Come to me then!” and Echo immediately replied “Come to me then.”  Narcissus was still confused by this voice he did not see and called, “Why do you shun me? Let us meet here.”

To that, Echo answered “meet here,” and she came out of the woods and tried to give him a hug. Narcissus pushed Echo away claiming he would never want to be with her.  Devastated, Echo spent the rest of her days sad and alone. Her body eventually began to waste away and finally, she became so thin that her body vanished and only her voice remained.

Aphrodite was furious to find out how Narcissus had treated her beloved friend, Echo and promised to get revenge on him. She cursed Narcissus to fall in love with something that would never return his love. Not knowing of the curse, Narcissus sat down next to a creek. In the clear water, he saw his face reflected and fell in love with the image of himself thinking it was a river nymph. Neither hunger nor tiredness could tear him from his beautiful reflection. Instead, he stayed there, wasting away until he was no more. When the nymphs of the woods and river prepared for his funeral, they could not find his body. All they found was a lovely white flower with a yellow center.

They say the drooping of the daffodil symbolizes the image of Narcissus bowing his head, admiring his image in he lake. It is said that the center of the daffodil is a cup that is filled with the tears of Narcissus, and the flower is a symbol of vanity, conceit, and unrequited love.

Gold tassel upon March's bugle-horn,
Whose blithe reveille blows from hill to hill
And every valley rings--O Daffodil!
What promise for the season newly born?
Shall wave on wave of flow'rs, full tide of corn,
O'erflow the world, then fruited Autumn fill
Hedgerow and garth? Shall tempest, blight, or chill
Turn all felicity to scathe and scorn?

Tantarrara! the joyous Book of Spring
Lies open, writ in blossoms; not a bird
Of evil augury is seen or heard:
Come now, like Pan's old crew, we'll dance and sing,
Or Oberon's: for hill and valley ring
To March's bugle-horn,--Earth's blood is stirred.

William Allingham


  1. :-) Well March certainly came in like a lion, up in my neck of the woods. So it should go out like a lamb. :-)

    Happy March!

    "The snowdrops are out around the twenty-second." ~Gladys Taber

  2. Top of the mornin to ya. Here's to Spring! (((Hugs)))Pat

  3. Another birthday -- excited? I like daffodils. They're such cheery flowers.

  4. March is always such a wonderful time.... new life.. spring and of course warmer weather... it seems everything is blooming yet it did come a bit loud this year... hoping it calms a bit

  5. I thought for sure Spring was here Wednesday, it was sunny and warm. Then this morning it was gorgeous the sun was shinning, looking just beautiful. I was excited and went springing out the door to go take care of the critters. I was stopped in my tracks, the wind was not warm it was cold again. BUT there are buds on the trees sooo I am hoping that it will be right along. At least I am hoping.