Though we sometimes erroneously think March will bring sunshine and blue skies and then find ourselves disappointed, I’ve concluded it really is not a bad month after all.

It’s Town Meeting and mud time, when people come spilling out of their homes like bears from hibernation to take part in the purest form of democracy there is and socialize with neighbors, in many cases for the first time since fall. They debate and haggle and negotiate and interrogate until their responsibility to community is done, at least for a day. They might even share a few laughs.

There’s much to look forward to, as we turn the clocks ahead an hour and get to enjoy another hour of light at the end of the day. For those who don’t remember, daylight saving time begins before sunrise Sunday.

With the time change, we can be assured things are looking up.

We know we will not be heading into that deep, dark abyss of winter as we did in November.

Instead of cold, light, warmth and sunshine lie ahead in the not-too-distant future.

When it’s Town Meeting time, spring can’t be far behind.

The snow piles shrink, we start to notice birds chirping behind our closed windows in the morning, and with that, our spirits begin to rise.

The skin on the backs of our hands, instead of remaining dry like a reptile, starts to regain normalcy as moisture creeps back into the air.

We know that, after a significant storm, the mountains of snow will not remain for long as they did in mid-winter.

Lakes, ponds and rivers start to heave and wave under the weight of ice, which ultimately will break away and thaw out.

Horses can shed their blankets and move around in the pasture. Even chickens can strut freely.

We animals like the warmth. We move outside, recline on porches, decks and lawns in the sun and inhale the fresh air. We can take a walk without fear of falling on the ice. Baseball season starts.

Beyond the comfort we reap from the loosening of old bones and other physical benefits that come with spring, there are also spiritual perks.

Christians anticipate the sacred holiday Easter. The first of May brings thoughts of May baskets, sprouting flowers and the planning and planting of gardens. On May 19, we get to witness an upbeat televised event for a change: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

Memorial Day weekend arrives with outdoor fun, along with the commemorating of our war dead. We place flowers on graves, attend parades, cookouts and family get-togethers. Many go camping for the first time in the new year.

And then it’s on to graduations, as we applaud and celebrate our progeny — and shove them off into the world after 18 years of preparation. Thank God for these thoughtful, insightful and compassionate young men and women who will take over where we leave off. The twilight of our lives are in their hands.

It has been a dark, dreary winter of 2017-18, both literally and figuratively. A lot of havoc and horror has been wrought both here and abroad.

We have much to fear, much to fight, much to heal.

But as many yesterdays as we’ve had to play a part in those trials and tragedies — however unintentionally — we hopefully have as many tomorrows to rectify, revamp, atone and chart a better course.

Better times, we can only hope and pray, are ahead.

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 30 years. Her column appears here Mondays. She may be reached at [email protected]. For previous Reporting Aside columns, go to centralmaine.com.

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