Teri Vance: With March like a lion, seek balance

Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.

Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.

March roared into the Carson City area like a lion, with even more snow and rain forecast through the foreseeable future. While this seemingly interminable winter is dragging me down a little, there’s still that glimmer of hope March will end with an introduction of spring,

You know, like the old adage, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” or the reverse, depending on the weather on the first of the month.

But before I yield to optimism, I set out to find out where the idiom came from.

As is usual with things of this nature, the origin stories are varied.

A folk wisdom entry on the Paris Review website suggested a couple of reasons: “At this time of year, Leo is the rising sign; by April, it’s Aries,” was one assertion. “Some have pointed out that Jesus arrives as the sacrificial lamb, but will return as the Lion of Judah.”

It lists one of the earliest citations found in Thomas Fuller’s 1732 compendium, “Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British.” The authors give the wording as “Comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb.”

The Farmers Almanac traces the roots to the nebulous “ancestral beliefs” anchored in finding balance.

“Those people often believed that bad spirits could affect the weather adversely, so they were cautious as to what they did or did not do in certain situations. Those beliefs often included ideas that there should be a balance in weather and life. So, if a month came in bad (roaring like a lion), it should go out good and calm (docile, like a lamb).”

I like that idea. We can always look to nature to find the guide to embracing the cycles of life. There’s a time to bloom and there’s a time to hibernate. Growth causes disturbance. Disturbance is normal.

So, with this in mind, I started researching ways to find more balance, or harmony, in my life.

Again, the results were varied.

In my search I found several tips, which included advice such as: Assess your life as it is now, make a conscious decision to become balanced and make time to reassess yourself on a daily basis.

It could be I’m not enlightened enough, but that list didn’t make a lot of sense to me. While I appreciate figurative language and poetry, when it comes to improving my life, I want tangible tips.

After wading through what seemed like a sea of encouragement I relax and pamper myself. I found some guidelines that actually resonated with me.

Balance, for me, is about accountability. It’s checking in to make sure I’m keeping up on all areas of my life. Making a to-do list and following through.

Maybe that’s what my extended winter is telling me. I need more time in planning and preparing before it’s time to bloom.

Still, the future is impossible to predict. Spring will come only when it’s good and ready. I just hope I’ll be ready, too.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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