March has troubles of its own, but added to them are the ones we concoct ourselves: impatience for spring, annoyance at the lingering storms of winter ("Stop, stop," we heard someone of usually calm spirit cry out when snow flurries appeared one morning last week) and the discomfort of strong winds, or strong judgements about the week sun. With 10 snowfalls this winter, several dozen potholes between home and the shops, and the unpredictability of what (besides more cold) the next cold front would bring who has come this far without being weather-beaten?

Bu tthe heating is about to end. Warn and long days are about to be followed by warmer and longer ones. Life's juices - from the sap in the common maple of the neighborhood to the chlorophyll in grasses in distant meadows - are flowing again. They pour into springtime through the openings of March. It is not yet a cascade of life, which will come in May and June; it is closer to being a throb. But nearly all of what will be happening in nature in the next six months can be traced back to March. If orderly records were kept, the auditors could look through the books of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and the other elements of life and find that everything balances out in the sums and totals of March.

We get honey in the summer, but th ebees begin stirring now. Songbirds will wake us in themornings of July but the nests to hold the unhatched eggs are being built now. We will eat the apples of September because the sun of March is warming the trees to break into blossom. We can have lyrical feelings about the pastoral turn that Nature is now taking, but the openings being made by March represent the down-to-earth and in-to-earth reality that primitive work is now going on. Nature builds on itself, the labor of one day linked with that of another.

If the winds of March are blowing now, they need to be seen as a helping breeze for Nature - to keep it going once it gets going. If we get taken along also, let it be. It is why we were waiting out winter in the first place. And the second and third place, too.