In March in Boston, a little bit of sunshine goes a long way.Let’s get things straight: I am — ostensibly — a morning person to the greatest degree. I usually wake up when it’s still dark outside — to read in bed, to drink cup after cup of tea, to boil eggs, to do laundry, to just be. I like to slowly step into my day in the same way that I like to slowly step out of it. I live just a few short miles away from where I work and so, because I hate to take the T and because I love love love to walk, in the mornings, I frequently opt for the latter, and it is one of my favorite things. It makes a lovely slow-stepping morning extra, extra lovely.
This time of year, you’re always hearing that March comes “in like a lion” and “out like a lamb,” and in New England that adage is hugely legible. In terms of weather, the last day of February and the first day of April often feel miles and miles apart. And while, in February, to satisfy our green-loving eyes, we are lucky to stumble upon the last of the soggy, curbside Christmas trees, there are daffodils in April, and little purple crocuses. Oh, the crocuses.
My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Hewes, had this special calendar activity for March. I still remember it. Every day the class would decide whether it was a “lion” day or a “lamb” day, and we would pin to the calendar a small picture of one or the other, depending on what we had decided. At the end of the month, we counted and compared the lions to the lambs. Predictably, we found the sweet little springtime lambs outnumbered by the malevolent and graceless oafs, the wintry lions. That year, the snow continued through April.
I know that the weather this time of year is frustrating — there is so much uncertainty, so much aggravation and unknowing. But isn’t it also kind of wonderful? It’s part of why I love living in New England. One day it can be this one thing — and it can be it so much, so completely — and then the next day it can be this totally other, totally contrariwise thing — this thing that looks nothing like anything you’ve seen lately.
Yesterday was a lamb day. I walked over the bridge and through The Esplanade; there was a lot of sunshine and a lot of happy dogs being walked by happy people. (And happy people being walked by happy dogs.) The morning sunshine so much inspired me that, in the afternoon, when I found myself with some time to kill before meeting friends for dinner, I filled the gap with some sandal shopping. You heard me. Sandal shopping. In March. In Boston.
While today is a little more leonine, I took another great walk through The Esplanade. Maybe the sun wasn’t shining as brightly, but it was trying to, and it was promising to try even harder soon.