In addition to lack of seed starting, there is another consequence to my escaping the cold for health reasons: the loss of my marching through March with my piping and drumming brothers and sisters. While the temperature here in South Florida comfortably rests in the low 80s, my mind and spirit are with my band, which who has marched in two to three parades each chilly weekend — so far. This Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, they will parade up 5th Avenue in New York City — and for the first time in years, I will not. Here’s a clip from a few years ago — that’s me front row center.
Watching it, I’m feeling a little green — with envy — that I can’t be there this year, and so I thought I would revisit a post which is as much a tribute to piping as it is to the band that took me in.
My favorite version of “Little Drummer Boy” has got to be the original by the Harry Simeone Chorale. As some of you may know, though, I’m a bagpiper — and tonight I’m in charge of my pipe band’s Christmas party. While I’m off to light the sternos, enjoy this performance by another pipe band, the Duncan McCall Pipe Band, based out of Pensacola, FL.
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner and me tuning up my bagpipes, it suddenly occurred to me how appropriate it is that this most Irish of celebrations, where green is the color of the day, is held in March. This third month, after all, is the time when green returns to the landscape.
Irish eyes may be smiling, but on a recent walk through the garden, as I brushed aside brown winter leaves, I found my gardener’s eyes smiling at the excitement and promise of once again seeing green.
March is an interesting time for gardeners. It’s the month when the first warm breezes begin to melt winter’s icy grip, when the garden begins to stir, when hints of green suddenly appear, when it’s time to get outside and get things ready for the gift that is spring.
At least that’s how my March used to be until about five years ago, when my March literally became MARCH — as in parade. I’m a bagpiper and March is piping season, with each weekend devoted to at least two to three St. Patrick’s Day parades — making this St. Patrick’s Month.
But as the first of the parades gets underway, March is also the time that I reflect on how I came to be a piper and how thankful I am that bagpipes entered my life. This post is that story.