Whether it’s the abrupt swings in temperature, or gusty winds that bring snow one day and inches of mud the week following, March brings an uncertain mood. The frozen lake and icy woods of February were predictable, and the lake winds yielded only a few inches a day of snow. No trace of green emerged from the frozen sand. But now, almost mid-way through unpredictable March, sunny spots yield a few tiny leaves. On the sunporch late mornings provide a surprising warmth. Should I set out pots of poplar cuttings, or will another week of colder-and-wetter-than usual weather lead to complications? If we order seedlings will the weather co-operate or will the ground still be frozen and infertile when they arrive? Risk abounds.
Comparing a basketball tournament to celebration of the Greek Olympics may be a reach, but the Gods of March (and Olympus) must enjoy our focus this month on a game that has “Cinderella teams” upsetting those with far more consistent winning records. A game that can be won in 50 seconds (or 5 seconds) by fouling at the inbound pass and reducing the outcome to a simple game of “horse” from the free throw line is wholly consistent with the March madness that surrounds us this time of year.
A bucket of tree flags retrieved from the Bluecircle plantings at year’s end is a reminder that success comes from advancing despite risk. The uncertainty of the season will not prevail or block a forward path.