March blew in a little bit lion-ish yesterday, but the cold breezes were mitigated by cloudless blue sky and the sound of mourning doves calling to one another in the pine trees outside my bedroom window. Those doves are the first harbingers of spring here in the midwest - when I hear then begin their cry, I know the seasons are a'changing and soon another winter will have passed. March is "my month"...the month of my birth, but also the month that winter begins to retreat and let spring make it's way onto the horizon. So it's a month of hope for me, a celebration of new beginnings.
My mom and I were driving around on our usual Sunday afternoon adventures...sometimes we go to TJ Maxx and Bargain Books, or our favorite gourmet market. On the way home, we might stop at Panera Bread for one of their awesome Pecan Braid pastries and a cafe mocha. Of course we talk about lots of things, including family stories (many of which I've heard numerous times, but which always bear repeating). Yesterday, I heard a new story, and it always surprises me a bit that after (almost) 53 years, there are new stories to hear.
"Did I ever tell you what you Aunt L. said to me when I told her I was pregnant with you?" my mother asked me.
"No, I don't think you did," I replied, keeping my eye on the Jeep Cherokee that was following a bit too close on my rear bumper.
"Well, I hadn't told anybody yet," she said, "and one Sunday afternoon your dad went into work and dropped me off at her house for the afternoon. So I told her I was pregnant, and she said 'Well, that's just awful! I thought you had better sense than that.' Now wasn't that a terrible thing to say to me?"
"It definitely was!" I answered, although not terribly shocked. My Aunt L. has some rather strange ideas about life.
"And then," my mother continued, "we went over to tell Grandpa (my paternal grandfather) and he shook his head and said 'So what? Babies are nothing...they come all the time.' "
She laughed. "So nobody was very excited about you!"
I laughed too, not the slightest bit offended because I've never been anything but cherished by all these people since my first breath on earth. After all, my Aunt L. was the youngest of seven daughters and my grandfather the parent of five boys and a girl. Family life during the depression was not easy, and I imagine another mouth to feed in those days was not an unmitigated blessing. Children couldn't be as carefully planned in those days as they often are now - neither science nor societal expectations allowed for it.
March sends me the urge to make plans, too, whether because it's my birthday month and I feel the "march" of time, or because of the tinge of warmth in the air, the thawing of frozen ground and the noticeable increase in daylight. I get an itch to change things up, to do something different, to get in my car and drive for days. It was in March about eight years ago that I went looking for a "real" job, and ended up in the office where I work to this day. It was in March three years ago that I started writing here, that impetus to try something new setting me off in a new direction of self-expression.
This March, I feel a desire to reset my professional compass. I'm wondering if it might be time to leave the world of paper shuffling behind and head out on a new career path, one that lets me be more independent and creative. Although I don't have any definite plans, the word is that if you're open to new possibilities, they will appear before you.
So this is my way of putting the universe on notice - we'll see what the wind blows in.
And I'm wishing all of you a Happy March - may you be open to the signs of spring as they appear around you and within you :)