It was 1986. Our French lesson dragged on interminably. I thought I would scream if we had to recite another irregular French verb. Outside our classroom window, two sparrows with thoughts of nest-building pecked lovingly at each other, perched precariously on the edge of the stone balcony. In between a je suis and a tu es they had hopped over the edge and flown away. My thoughts followed them. I was soon somewhere above the puffy clouds.
The abrasive sound of chalk on blackboard brought me back to reality. Another confounded irregular verb to memorise. I marked it in my book and peered at the board through half-open eyes, wishing I was a bird and could fly away to some fantasy realm. I turned my head slightly. Across the very narrow aisle, littered with school bags, my friend Helga was busily scribbling away. I doubted she was that interested in French verbs.
“What are you writing,” I whispered between one conjugation and the next.
“The lyrics to Kayleigh,” she whispered back.
“Write them for me,” I replied, as I surreptitiously handed her my notebook.
She nodded. Minutes later the notebook was back on my desk. I glanced at them and hummed the song in my head.
Do you remember, chalk hearts melting on a playground wall?Do you remember, dawn escapes from moon-washed college halls?
I was back in my reverie again. This time it was the clanging sound of the recess bell that brought me back to the classroom.
It was March then, as it is now. At lot has changed since that far-off day in the classroom. And a lot has remained the same. I am no longer a bored teenager at school and the ‘80s are just a golden memory. But I am still prone to day-dreaming and to building castles on clouds. Only now, those moments come upon me while I am driving or cooking. And, yes, sometimes while working too. I still hum Kayleigh in my head and, although I have a lot of quiet moments, I can be boisterous and a little bit unruly too. I have changed but, deep down where it matters, I have remained the same.
Our classroom balcony – just above the main entrance
As for March, it is as unpredictable as ever. It is willful and capricious. It is sunshine and thunderstorms; raindrops and hail. It is beautiful beyond any other month of the year and the most willful out of all of them. March is predictably unpredictable. A maiden clothed in the most exuberant cloak of colours that only the Master painter of the universe can devise; a tomboy with a most mischievous grin. I delight in all that this month has to offer and I will it to go on forever. Because, you see, we are strangely akin, March and I, and I was going to tell you why but, on second thoughts, I will leave it up to you to figure it out.
For those of you that are curious, here’s Kayleigh: