Lion vs. Lamb


The weather continues to occupy my attention, as the lion and the lamb duke it out for dominance in March. Last week the temperature reached 80˚ just before it plummeted into the low 20s for several nights, wreaking ruin on the blooming magnolias and damaging the tender shrubs that had leafed out hopefully. My garden was inhabited by ghosts as I draped roses and hydrangeas in sheets and created a special plastic tent for the tree peony. In the midst of this I had an interesting conversation with my 5-year-old grandson about weather, and I explained the old adage, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” He was quick to pick up that lions are fierce and lambs are gentle, and I tried to explain how you can describe weather the same way, but it got a little too complicated considering this was taking place on FaceTime. As often happens after I talk to him, my own curiosity was aroused, so I decided to do some research on the origins of the phrase. There’s a lot of information out there, of course, but this Paris Review article was succinct and humorous. Meanwhile, I watch the nighttime temperatures and keep my stash of plant covers ready. And mourn the sudden passing of the luscious spring magnolia flowers.