It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold


A change in the weather: summer in the light, and winter in the shade

Here’s a little something for the end of March. In my neck of the woods March can present a midlife crisis event of climatology: huge, wet flakes melting on Spring’s freshly unfurled green leaves. One day we’re emerging from our Winter cocoons, foraging around like halfway hibernating bears, and the next we’re wondering when it will end – or begin.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. We had our pea-coats with us, and I took a bag. Of all my worldly possessions I took no more than the few necessaries that filled the bag. Where I might go, what I might do, or when I might return, were questions utterly unknown to me; nor did I vex my mind with them, for it was wholly set on Provis’s safety. I only wondered for the passing moment, as I stopped at the door and looked hack, under what altered circumstances I should next see those rooms, if ever.

from Great Expectations, CHAPTER LIV
by Charles Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870)


Without knowing anything about what else is going on in the book, you know they’re leaving a lot behind while setting out towards something new. Change resonates from Dickens’ description of March more strongly than it would from a blunt declaration of fact.

As beautiful as it is to see a writer do this, I think it’s just as beautiful when any one of us seizes the moment on any given day.

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3 Responses to “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Can’t beat Charles Dickens, that’s for sure. I love how the diffidence of the weather is offset by the determination of Pip to go out. The one illuminates the other.

  2. Elizabeth Able Says:

    Coincidentally, today I see sharp sunlight and patches of blue sky out the front window, and bits of leaves and branches sailing across the back yard. I’m sitting at the computer writing, vascillating over if I really want to take a walk out in that drama. 🙂

  3. Abimbola Akanwo Says:

    I recognized the quote as soon as I read it (from Dicken’s Great Expectations)…

    The extract from Great Expectations described part of Pip’s desperate attempt to get Provis’ out of England by sea – the attempt failed and Provis was caught…

    Here’s to seizing the day…carpe diem