Its predecessor, March, still has the dregs of the dark season hanging onto the frequent, chill winds that make the daffodils shiver in premature discomfort. The waking figure of youthful nature remains half asleep, drowsily gathering her cloak about her neck against the blast.
And so it is today in the Shire. The many copses dotted around the undulating landscape as far as the eye can see are no longer skeletal. They’ve developed that frothy look characteristic of early spring, when the buds begin to form and clothe the host with a gently glowing mass to which we have become temporarily unaccustomed. Stands of daffodils are in bloom, adding a sunny yellow to the cool white of the snowdrops, and the sun is demonstrating the first hints of the power which we briefly forgot during its sojourn to the southern climes. And yet the wind remains frigid, reminding us that now is not the time to leave scarves and hats redundantly hanging on coat pegs, and I was almost sorry I omitted to wear gloves when I walked the circle of the Shire.
So if, as someone famously said, April is the cruellest month, then March must surely be the most ambivalent.