The month of March is such sweet torture! Warm weather, followed by cold. Melting snow followed by a fresh foot and all of us just itching to get outside and rake! I thought I’d write a little story, nothing too fancy, just a reflection on what March 10th might have been for you…
Rosa woke early and shivered. Why were March mornings always so cold? She hurried to dress in the thick robe and slippers, careful not to wake Henry. He needed to rest. She wouldn’t take any chances with this benign cold – too often they turned into pneumonia.
The floor board squeaked nearest the door, so she tip-toed around it, satisfied with her stealth and silent departure. She’d get the fire started downstairs and breakfast cooking, and maybe even a chore or two done before he rose.
Rosa rubbed her hands and moved into the kitchen. Her kitchen, she noted, was poorly lit but always well-organized. She didn’t need to see – she knew where everything was stored.
The song she hummed was old. The origin was long ago forgotten, but it was all she had left of her French grandmother, Mary Bourdeau. Now there was a tough women, Rosa thought as she set the kettle to boiling. Birthing all those babies in Canada, watching her husband, Louis follow the work trail, returning only long enough to baptize the last child, and start the next one.
She smiled as she thought of her mother, Elizabeth, and the stories of her childhood. How they’d wander the family farm and knew where all the good swimming and fishing holes were. It wouldn’t have been easy. The smiled faded. Life in rural Canada had driven the Blains to the United States in search of work. Forget about riches, they sought to survive, to put food in the mouths of all those babes.
The first ray of sun broke over the mountain, casting Rosa’s kitchen in a warm, golden light. She took a sip of tea and stared out the window. Today, she’d throw open those sashes, beat out the rugs, line the rails with blankets. Today, she’d freshen the air in her house and maybe even let that damned fire go out.
Today, the March breeze would be warm and soft and inviting. Tomorrow, she knew, would probably be just the opposite. No one understood better the capricious nature of March than Rosa.