In the northern U.S., March is often miserable. Muddy, mucky, mildewy. It is the Monday morning of months.
Even the mud-caked mutts I meet, mooching along the murky, meandering Milwaukee River, look a little morose.
People are tired of wearing boots, gloves, all these layers of clothing. Not much spring in our step, as we march along – fleeced, booted, scarved – outfitted in the Full Milwookie.
And scratchy hats. As I’m sure you know, the expressions “shock of hair” and “Mad as March hair” are based on the deranged, staticky mops we get in northern climates, after wearing knitted wool hats, nonstop, for five months.
It’s a month named for Mars, who was kind of an idiot, even by the low standards of Roman gods. The god of war, and his quagmire month, when they kicked off the Vietnam and Iraq wars. I noticed the Mars Bar is being sold in the U.S. again – why don’t we name the month after that, instead – it’s gooey, brown, and full of nuts – perfect for the season.
Winter seems to be eating up more than its share of the year, and keeps dropping in, uninvited, for another bite.
During the brief thaws, soggy gloves and decaying mittens emerge from the gritty snowbanks, looking like pathetic squirrel carcasses. Sometimes they actually are squirrel carcasses.
Shivering and pale, we curse as we wade through icy puddles of semi-congealed brine.
Dehydrated from freezer burn, feeling a bit testy, even unbalanced some days.
Everything we see and hear, heck the whole darn planet, feels tilted.
I’m inclined to believe, everyone could use a holiday in March.
How about we hatch a new one – – Spring Equinox Day.
We’d focus on balance in our lives, personal and public.
On a day when light and dark are held in balance.
A day to spend with friends and family, and not at work.
Spring Equinox Day wouldn’t improve the weather, but it could take our minds off it, restore our equilibrium a bit.
A celebration of normalcy, stability, and reasonableness.
Crack open a thesaurus, and just look at all those rare and wonderful qualities:
Fair. Equitable. Even-handed. Rational.
Lucid. Clearheaded. Sensible.
Equinox Day would have no sporting events, no car races, no sales, no politicians. No windbags are allowed to go politicking – – gassy blimps would be allowed, but only for parades, and not making speeches.
The pundits, professional mouthpieces, and talk show hosts should take the day off, too, and give their mouths a rest. And citizens would be invited to speak instead, in a reasonable way, about “Reasonableness.”
Schoolkids would earn medals for the best essays and speeches on these qualities. The adults can join them, feeling well-rested after sleeping in, and from our naps during the speeches, and we’ll all turn out for a day of service to our communities.
We have, in theory, a Women’s Equality Day (August 26) marking adoption of the 19th Amendment, and Equal Pay Day, which changes each year, based on the wage gap between men and women. (Germany also has that observance, since 1988, but fixes it on March 18th.) International Women’s Day also came and went, on the 8th, without too much press. A couple of states have transformed Columbus Day into Native Americans Day. Juneteenth (“Freedom Day,” “Emancipation Day”) is now observed in 47 states and may be finally gaining traction to become a federal holiday.
I haven’t thought all this out yet, so Equinox Day is still pretty vague and Pollyanna-ish, but it actually seems like a decent idea. It seems politically neutral, even in the seven states which don’t believe the Earth revolves around the sun.
And it seems fair and reasonable to ask people for suggestions – – post as many as you like, you can stuff the ballot box like a Chicago alderman. They’ll be reviewed in a dispassionate, reasonable, even-handed manner… and then I’ll just chuck out the ones I don’t like. No! just kidding, I’ll be glad to hear what you think.
I broke my last eggcup, and had to hire these guys. They’re in the union, but luckily, work for scale.