March upon us. March Madness (college basketball), winter’s last furious lashes, and they are fierce, wet, wild, wicket all across the Republic.

I write hearing things in the walls.

The madness of the March hare, or references to it, sprang out of English folklore, and, of course, Alice in Wonderland. It refers to the wild, wierd behavior of the hare in breeding season. For humans, breeding in every season, the wild, weird behavior is forever.

In like a lion, out like a lamb? Not this year. And never, really, in Florida.

March winds

I know of only one song written about March. It is, “The Waters of March,” written by the progenitor of Bosa Nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim. The English lyrics, about the third stanza of this tic-toc melody, go….

It’s the wind blowing free, it’s the end of the slope
It’s a beam, it’s a void, it’s a hunch, it’s a hope
And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the end of the strain, it’s the joy in your heart

On March 3, 1960, my 7th grade class at St. Ann’s Parochial School, on Neponset Avenue in the Neponset section of Dorchester (and just several yards down the street from my Neponset Avenue home) went on a field trip to the Boston Museum of Science. The highlight of the tour, in which we were allowed to roam free among the exhibits (one I recall featured a headset which you donned to hear the ‘sound’ of sunbeams reaching earth) was an assemby at which a speaker demonstrated and/or explained various scientific phenomina. And the highlight of this highlight was when the assembling consisting of several Boston school pupils were told to close their eyes and on the count of three open them. One, two, three — and poof!!! A wrack of flashbulbs went off in the newly opened eyes of a couple of hundred seventh graders leaving on their retina an image of skull and crossbones (how demonic! A symbol of death imprinted on young eyes.) The entire auditorium erupted in shocked hilarity, arms reaching out to grasp this image of jolly roger floating before their stunned eyes. It was the climax of the day’s presentation and the instructor had a hard time quieting the young crowd that was about to end its day filing back into buses.

But it was a singular and very different experience for me. Because, misunderstanding the instructions, I CLOSED my eyes on the count of three.

Never could follow instructions.

That night a blizzard descended on Boston. Three feet of snow.

And the river bank talks of the waters of March

It’s the end of the strain, it’s the joy in your heart….

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