March entered this morning like a lamb; will it leave us like a lion? I love how this month of fickle weather, one day spring and the next day winter, is flanked like bookends by symbols of Christ, the majestic Aslan-lion of Judah and the spotless sacrificial lamb.
This year, the first of March came one day later than normal. Leap years contain an extra day every four years to keep us in step with the seasons. Since it takes 365 ¼ days to revolve around the sun, if our calendar year always contained 365 days, over time, we’d celebrate spring’s arrival while feasting our eyes on autumn foliage and body surf in the ocean during winter. In other words, we’d feel like we’re Down Under.
Those born on Feb. 29, roughly 1 in 1,500 people, are called “leaplings.” My birth year was a leap year. Leaplings born at that time have just entered their teens. (I’m not jealous.)
But that was yesterday. Today, the first of March, is Martisor Day in Romania, my favorite day there. Romanians celebrate both the imminent coming of spring and the love that adds a certain springiness to our steps all year long. With the huge snows that smothered Eastern Europe this winter (including 15 feet of snow less than two weeks ago), I’m sure Martisor couldn’t come quickly enough this year. Martisor is a reminder that the winters of our discontent won’t last forever. It infuses people with hope that spring will soon arrive with its fresh vitality.
And it causes us to look to the Lion who will right all wrongs and the Lamb who gave his life so we can have new life. Easter is on its way!