By Connie Denney
What do a planet, a sacred season for Christians, historic words of warning, an indicator of the current political atmosphere, a well-known Irish saint, a special kind of madness, seasonal changes and time, itself, have in common?
The month of March! Named, as is the planet Mars, for the Roman god of war, the month is chock-full of observances.
Today, Wednesday, March 1, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, 46 days before Easter, which falls on Sunday, April 16, this year. A time of spiritual preparation for Easter, Lent ends Thursday, April 13. (From year-to-year, Ash Wednesday may come as early as February 4 or as late as March 10.)
Easter carries with it thoughts of renewal, as we anticipate spring. With the unusual temperatures recently, we dare not count on certain weather on a given date. But, the calendar recognizes Monday, March 20, as the beginning of spring. The Spring Equinox is to occur at 6:29 a.m. EDT, to be exact.
Speaking of time, Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12. In Tennessee that is to start at 2:00 a.m., to be exact. It ends Sunday, November 5.
These “timely” announcements remind me of the analogy of the blanket, cutting off one end and sewing it to the other. The point—I think—is that it makes no difference to the length of the blanket. Well, maybe, it’s just one more thing to confuse and confound us!
One holiday folks may attach importance to for a variety of reasons is Saint Patrick’s Day. Whether it calls up thoughts of the foremost patron saint of Ireland, reminds you of your Irish heritage or, mainly, of green beer—the holiday falls on March 17.
Wearing green on the 17th is important, according to my reading, to avoid having a leprechaun sneak up and pinch you. Wearing green, you see, makes you invisible to the little guys.
Ides of March does not show up as a holiday on the square for the 15th on my calendar. But, as the soothsayer warned Julius Caesar in William Shakespeare’s play named for the Roman dictator, “Beware the Ides of March.” Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, March 15, to be exact, at a senate meeting.
As I looked on the Internet to refresh my Ides-of-March memory, “Ides of Trump” popped up. Seriously! I had to read on. It seems there are protesters encouraging folks to use “Ides of Trump” on postcards they send on March 15 to the White House, expressing what they think on issues that matter to them. They were careful to point out they were not encouraging violence, however.
Although it may not be in bold letters on your calendar, March Madness needs no explanation for basketball fans. Even for everyone else, no doubt, the term will come up as media attention turns to NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) tournament play. It should be an interesting diversion from the Senate.
Religion, politics, sports, history, seasonal changes, madness, Mars and Roman gods–oh, my! Time marches on, daylight or not.