by Tab Moura
March snuck up on me this year, maybe the winter storms distracted me for a little bit… but I’m back on my game and ready to see what this month has for us. What’s special about March?
I was reminded that we celebrate Women’s history during March, a month that was chosen, many believe, because of the anniversary of the first women’s suffrage parades. But maybe we should look closer at March… it may help us to see Women’s history month in a new light.
The origin of the name “March” is believed to originate from Martius, or Mars, the god of war. March was originally the first month of the year, and January and February were the last two months of the year.
March was the beginning of the year, with the Vernal Equinox. Basically, a calendar that synchronized with the start of Spring; it was a time of transformation and newness. It was celebrated much the same way that we celebrate New Years’. Some believe that it was named after the God of War because March was when armies would return to war after resting all winter.
I’ve been told that March was chosen, perhaps, because marching and activism were such integral parts of women’s history over the last 100+ years. But the heart of March is not protesting, it was war. It was the product of strategic rest and courageous planning. Roman soldiers would return home in the winter, not to huddle and stay warm… but to check on their homes, hug their loved ones, and gather resources/weapons they needed in order to contribute to the campaign in the Spring. During years of war, soldiers spent as much as 2 whole months at home, or none at all. They lived lives of sacrifice.
When I consider the mountains that have been moved in the name of women’s rights, I don’t only see what has happened over the last century, but also the way that women held up entire families and communities during those years of war, all those centuries ago. March was when they would take over everything, knowing they may not see their husbands, fathers, or sons again. In this way, I see the thread is woven through all of history… women fighting wars in their own way while demonstrating incredible bravery and strength. What a powerful tribe we are.