APPLE SEEDS: The Ides of March can be darkness that precedes the light.
Beware the Ides of March! Has a bit of a ring to it, doesn’t it.As we sit today between the ‘lion’ and the ‘lamb’ of March predictions, and absorb the news of the day, in all of its horrific state, the statement really does strike a chord.
I thank my father, my teacher, Linton Reid, and most recently my husband for encouraging and contributing to my love of language. I thank Shakespeare for my cautiousness as March 15th rolls around year after year.
What is “The Ides of March” and why beware?
In Roman times, it was merely how that date within the month was referred to. What I didn’t know is that the “Ides” occur each and every month, heralding the arrival of the full moon. (There is an “Ides” on the 15th day of May, July and October, with the Ides occurring on the 13th for every other calendar month).
But when Julius Caesar received the warning to “beware the Ides of March”, the meaning changed for the rest of days.
I go back one year, to my second “Apple Seeds” , inspired by nervous tension as a result of the date, and my exploration into the creation of prose, and revisit the top ten reasons to “Beware the Ides of March”.
10. SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) – New Global Health Scare in 2003 – The World Health Organization issued the global health alert.
9. Disappearing Ozone Layer – 1988 – NASA reported that the ozone layer over the Northern Hemisphere has been depleted three times faster than predicted.
8. Ed Sullivan Show CANCELLED – 1971 – after 23 years on CBS. :(
7. World Record Rainfall – 1952 – 73.62 inches – recorded on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
6. Blizzard leaves at least 66 people dead – 1941 – in the Great Plains (which includes Manitoba and Saskatchewan) from an unexpected Saturday night storm sweeping down from the north.
5. Germany occupies Czechoslovakia – 1939 – Nazi troops seized the two remaining provinces of Bohemia and Moravia.
4. Russian Czar abdicates throne – 1917 – ending a 304 year old royal dynasty, ushering in Bolshevik rule. He and his family are executed in 1918.
3. Samoan Cyclone – 1889 – Cyclone destroys 6 warships – 3 U.S. and 3 German killing over 200 sailors. (It is said this disaster averted a war over who would annex the Samoan Islands)
2. 48 hour spree of rape, pillage and murder begins in Southern England by the French - 1360. Upon learning of the rape, pillage and murder taking place in England, King Edward III interrupts his own pillaging spree in France to launch reprisals.
1. Assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 B.C. - Conspirators led by Brutus stab dictator-for-life Julius Caesar to death before the Roman senate. Caesar was 55. (from Smithsonian.com, 2010)
But, there is no darkness without light.
In 1965, President Lyndon B Johnson called for Congress to pass legislation that would provide and protect equal voting rights for all. Later that year, on August 6, the “Voting Rights Act” was signed by the President, ensuring that the black population would never be denied the right to vote.
On March 15, 1970, Bobby Orr hit a milestone, scoring his 100th point in one season, making him the first defenseman in NHL history to do so. (Orr finished the season with a record 120 points).
In 1972, The Godfather, arguably one of the all-time best films in history, was released in theatres. “Leave the gun, take the cannoli” remains one of the most quotable, improvised pieces of dialogue in any movie. Francis Ford Coppola credits Richie Castellano, who played the executioner, Clemenza, with the script addition. (okay… now I am hungry – cannoli anyone?).
Frankie Avalon would hold this date in history close to his heart, when “Venus” hit #1 on the charts.
So, rehashing some of my favourite clichés, wish upon a star that the Ides of March will come and go without disaster or mayhem… “knock on wood”.
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