Happy equinox! Here at the cusp of winter and spring, day is finally as long as night. It’s a time for balance, whether that means a harmonious center or equal but opposite extremes. Wisconsin tends toward the latter. One March afternoon I watched a man cross frozen Fish Lake with his dog and a woman pass in her convertible with the top down.
Lamb and lion have a long history in religious texts and art, whether contrasting gentleness vs. ferocity or lying peacefully together. Some link them astrologically with the spring equinox, when Aries (ram, sheep) ushers in the new year. In any case, the pair became a vivid image for this month’s changeable weather.
“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” goes back at least as far as Gnomologia; Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British by Thomas Fuller (1732). The later “In like a lamb, out like a lion” seems nearly as fitting, at least here in the Upper Midwest, where heavy snow can fall in late March or even April.
May the rest of your March be lamblike, and may sunshine fill your lengthening days.
Image: The lamb and the lion as they appear on a pub signboard in Bath, England. Trish Steel, Wikimedia Commons.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.