Andy’s Flaming Chalice – March Column

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
Wm. Wordsworth

Greetings, and welcome to March. It’s time to welcome the coming of spring in our hemisphere, and the Vernal Equinox on March 20th! “Equinox” means “equal night,” when our sun zeniths directly over the Equator and day and night are of equal length. So for those of you who think, twice a year, “Wow, the days are really getting shorter/longer now,” the Equinox is precisely halfway between your opportunities to mutter about the changing light.

(A “march” is also a borderland, frontier or wilderness. If you find yourself a bit mercurial, excitable or over-amorous, your sap rising a bit, perhaps you are experiencing a phenomenon about which your friends and family will whisper, under their breaths, “Madder than a march hare!”)

March is a metaphorical Spring at Starr King Church, too. In springtime, one plants the seeds which, properly tended, will bring a rich and satisfying harvest. Just so, our Canvass Kick-Off commences on Sunday March 11th, when we will be making our pledges to Starr King UU Church for the coming year. Each of us will have the opportunity to look into our hearts and ask, “Am I planting seeds in the precious soil of our beloved community as generously as I should? Am I doing my part to support the mission and work of Starr King, to prepare our fields for new growth, not only to feed me and mine, but to feed my friends, my community and the many people I haven’t met yet who will come to us in their search for meaning and a spiritual home?” It is your support that makes the work of this congregation possible, enabling us to be a beacon of liberal religious values in our larger community. Give bravely, generously, joyfully! This is your home.

Finally, March is Women’s History Month. The status of women in the world today is a painful mix of great progress and desperate social disenfranchisement, even persecution. Women’s contributions customarily have been swept under the rug of history, disconnected from the stories of our collective social and political progress for the very sake of disconnection. Revealing and remembering this discounted history is a primary tool for women and men in healing this injustice — not only remembering as calling back a thought, but remembering as reattaching parts (“members”) of the body politic which have been unjustly cut off. There are wonderful browsing resources from the Library of Congress at, or And hold in your hearts the promise of poet Judy Grahn, who wrote, with slightly different punctuation, “The common woman is as common as the best of bread, and will rise, and will become strong–I swear to you! I swear it to you on my common Woman’s head.”