Ah, yes, the middle of March. In Michigan.
You know — that’s when the roadside snow is blackening, all cars have that same dusty-grey color, the ground is muddy one day and frozen the next, and a blustery sleet or, worse yet, a cold rain stings the eyes.
Hey, March in Michigan may be uninviting, but at least it’s long (31 days).
There’s an old adage regarding March: “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Well, as long as the “In like a lion” slice of that rhetorical algorithm references, say, a Detroit Lion, we’d have nothing to worry about.
So, march on we will, in March, donning a down-filled parka one day, a t-shirt and sandals the next. For some reason, when the occasional warm snap strikes this time of year, my brain instantly observes: “Oh, great … this is how all the days moving forward will feel.”
That’s precisely March’s foil: to psyche us out. To give us hope one day, and dash it the next. Oh, and then laugh at us 31 consecutive times.
Yet I, for one, am juiced that so much hope, if we choose, is awaiting our “yes” this particular March — not only that winter’s surly grip is attenuating, but also that the end is in scope regarding the scourge of this execrable pandemic. I’m “of a certain age,” shall I say, so I expect to soon make friends with the business end of a frothy syringe at the local Walgreens betwixt my purchase of toothpaste, M&Ms and diapers.
Oh, and if you were perceptive enough to have collectively picked up on that “of a certain age thing” and the “changing diapers thing,” you’re right. I’m 55 and fussing with diapers — and, no, they’re not my diapers. But hey, having a kid at any age is all about choices, right? And, choice is precisely what this March is about.
This month, this March, is bringing with it — in spite of the weather’s bipolarity — an opportunity for something different, for something that previous Marches didn’t and couldn’t manufacture: the choice and the chance for true hope.
Hope individually. Hope globally.
Hope in humanity, in spite of our partisan vitriol. Hope in medicine and science, in spite of the doubters. Hope in a government that — in spite of all its faults and regardless of where you park your political carcass — is putting something more than a modicum of wood behind the vaccine arrow.
You see, God always enables us to find the abundant good in any bad. And, it’s my hope that those of us counted among Covid’s survivors are imbued with a march toward this oft-elusive hope. A march toward togetherness. A march toward — gasp — actual human contact.
How often does society — the world, even — have the opportunity for The Big Reset that this March and the one or two months that chase it bring? Let me think about that: ummm … pretty much never! This unique window, friends, is not to be squandered. Don’t squander it.
So, march on, leveraging the hell out of this bespoke opportunity that is being uniquely foisted upon us: the ability to draw a line in the sand of any unhealthy, dysfunctional — and dare I say boring — old ways, and boldly chart a new path.
When you, once vaccinated, first shake that stranger’s hand, when you first hug that grandchild, when you first go on that date, remember that you have the choice, this March, to march toward a new you — a you with a totally new and unleashed spirit. Resolve to make it a spirit known for its forgiveness, gentleness and kindness. An other-centered spirit that actively listens to the person in front of you (or on the other side of the screen) simply because they, too, are a fellow human just trying to make this “life thing” work.
Remember that March’s narrative this year isn’t just about vacillating temperatures, green beer and college basketball. No, don’t let March’s tired, old foil, well, foil you. Not this time. This March, choose to march toward something different. Something hopeful. Something profound.
Oh, and even though it might feel like you’re doing this for others, in the end, you’re really doing it for yourself. On that, you can March my words.
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