The Ides of March

Yes, I’ve read Julius Caesar and know to beware the Ides of March.  What I didn’t know was why I needed to be wary of March 15th.  And now I know I don’t need to be afraid.  The term ‘ides’ is a derivation of the Latin ‘idus’ which means ‘half.’  The 15th of the month marks our halfway progress through any month, though it could be argued that March has 31 days so the 15th isn’t exactly halfway.  Pft, whatever.  It works for me.

History also tells us that Caesar was warned by a seer that he would meet his death on the Ides of March.  Secure in his exalted position, Caesar scoffed.  That didn’t work out so well for him.

Trying to change my view from the glass being half empty all the time, I arose this morning to the sight of a rainbow as I glimpsed out my bedroom window.  The contrast of the spectrum of colors against the dark clouds was beautiful and I caught myself saying, “wow,” out loud to no one in particular.  I’m usually more articulate but Nature amazes me all the time.

Lately I’ve noticed a greater than usual number of hawks hanging out in the trees along the highways.  Perhaps the warmer weather is creating better hunting opportunities.  Hawks are interesting creatures.  Birds of prey, they possess amazing powers that allow them to hunt from elevation.  During the summer while lazing away an afternoon at the lake, I observe them circling in the sky.  Their effortless glide as they catch the thermal currents is fun to watch.  I first learned of hawks in college.  I knew about them prior to that but my interest in them grew when I was exposed to the poetry of Robinson Jeffers in one of my English courses.  Jeffers had an understanding of hawks that few people have.

In one of his most famous poems, “Hurt Hawks,” the reader encounters a hawk whose wing has been irreparably damaged.  Once feared, the hawk can do nothing but wait for death.  These lines remind me a lot of Caesar’s fate, th

“The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.”
Caesar’s fate was determined by the more than 60 men who participated in his stabbing, if one is to believe the stories of the day.  The hawk’s fate is delivered by Jeffers himself who puts the bird out of its misery.  Both were ignored by the “wild God of the world” because of their arrogance.  The task fell to mere mortals.
Bottom line:  don’t ever think you are larger than anything or anyone else.  Strive to do something beneficial each day, even if the glass looks half empty.  And do not fear the Ideas of March.  Just mark it as halfway through another month and closer to Spring!

About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
This entry was posted in hawks, Ides of March, poetry, Robinson Jeffers, seasons, spring. Bookmark the permalink.

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