In his play “A Winter’s Tale,” William Shakespeare (that’s right, I read The Bard), created one of my all-time favorite passages about the coming of spring. In it, he writes of daffodils “… That come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty …” Seriously, how beautiful is that? Can’t you just see an endless bright blue sky against a hill of vivid green spotted with bright yellow flowers, bending and bobbing in the bracing, clean air of spring? Oh, I just love it. Which is good because clinging to that image of March is what gets me through the reality of it.

March is brutal, people. Brutal. I am not at my best in March.

To be more precise, March is when I am overtaken by the urge to throw out all my possessions, put the house on the market, shave my head, and start over. Every single “road not taken” from my past is suddenly highlighted in neon on the map inside my brain and I begin to spin endlessly on “what if I …” scenarios. “Maybe I should be an emu farmer in New Zealand?” for example. My family puts up with a lot.

I know I am not alone in this. Back when I was a social worker, the rule laid down by my boss was “no one quits in March.” If you still wanted to leave come April, fine. Otherwise, “it’s just March talking,” she’d say. Wise woman.

So what is it about March?

It’s not the late snowstorms, at least not for me. I happen to like snow. It’s not the winter blahs either. After all, the days are clearly getting longer and the air is noticeably warmer. There are signs of impending spring everywhere, right down to the nesting barn swallows.

Perhaps the deal with March is exactly that – signs of spring are everywhere, but spring itself is not. It’s sort of like a long road trip. When you’re planning it (October, say, in this metaphor), everything is exciting to imagine and contemplate. Winter, with its imagined hearthsides and boughs of holly, still seems romantic. When you’re starting out, the first 100 miles of the trip are all adventure with trials and tribulations to overcome – “the meat” of the voyage.

But when you get to within, say, the last half hour of your destination, suddenly the thrill is gone and the confines of the car become unbearable.

You just want to be there already.

Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at [email protected]