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a brief reflection on march

Christina Lewis

I rarely dream of March. But this makes sense—I like to think in color, in shades of vermillion and sage, like it when the flash of a camera shutters brightly and I see those tinted dots dancing behind my eyelids. My favorite time of day is the half-hour before sunset, when the world is painted shades of peach and periwinkle and everything around me glows gold. 

But March feels gray. It tastes like a chicken soup with rice and not enough seasoning. It smells like wet grass and feels like a stubborn rock in my sneaker. And it is the pinnacle of odd transitions, the awkward meeting of winter and spring when the branches are barren, but the aisles of the grocery store are lined by pastel baskets and chocolate bunnies. When I was in grade school, March marked the beginning of the third quarter, a time when teachers warned of slipping grades and burn out. While I’m only in the midst of my first March of college, it seems that here, they are the same—sticky, clouded afternoons, the groan of my laptop as I open another tab, the half-finished can of Monster that’s been sitting on my desk for a week.

And this March in particular has been a long one. A long, somewhat lonely one. 

One marked by an unfortunate uptick in Covid-19 cases on campus, a stay-in-place order, and hours spent alone in my dorm, watching the Whole Foods parking lot across the street fill each morning and drain each night. This March reminds me of that feeling: of watching the rain stain the sidewalk below, of watching every person who passed be tinged gray like a shadow. Of watching everything through a window: seeing and wanting and wishing.

Yet I am reminded of a brief moment I had one March morning. Just a week or two ago, on one of those 70 degree days, a friend and I buried our feet in the beginnings of the green, spring grass on the quad near our dorm. Above us was the shimmer of sky, a winking sun and nearby, a patch of fluorescent dandelions waved to us. It all felt perfect—too perfect for a March. And part of me was a little taken aback by this, not remembering at all how gentile the month could be. Still, we stood wordlessly for what felt like hours as the sweet scent of honeysuckle drifted past our noses and the sun hugged our shoulders. 

No March is easy. To me, the past year has felt one long, exhausting, excruciating one. But I think that even if they come in small, startling bursts, the sunny moments are worth holding on to. And remembering, too, just how warm this coming season will be.

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