I am not a big fan of the cold and winter mostly because I don’t like being cold. As a child of the summer and love the warmer days. The sweet days of spring as the earth awakens after a long sleep, summer then brings the full promise of growth and of nights when the air feels like velvet on your skin, (high humidity I can do without) and the crisp days of fall with harvest and the beautiful colors of plants as their season ends; these I enjoy, winter I endure.
When we make it through January and I turn the page of the calendar to February I begin to feel a little hopeful that winter has turned the corner and spring will be with us soon. I can enjoy a short term of bracingly cold air on my cheeks as I shovel the walk, and watch mesmerized as snow falls in thick waterfalls of white covering the barren land transforming it into a fairyland of wonder, and then I sensibly retreat into my home to warm up with a hot cup of coffee or tea by a fire.
February 2 is the day the groundhog is to predict the next 6 weeks. In this I always get a laugh, because they never leave poor Punxsutawney Phil to his own devices. They wake him up like drunks partying in the streets late at night, and then haul the poor rodent out of his comfortable home to ask him “Hello Phil, do you see your shadow?” What a bunch of idiots.
Phil got some revenge this year. The Mayor held Phil closer to his ear to see if Phil would whisper the news of winter’s weather. Then CHOMP, the rodent went for the man’s ear. Phil did not want to be out of his nest! Lesson to be learned here.
Hauling Phil from his nest also ruins the fortune. If we had one like Phil to observe around here, and left to his own devices, we would not have seen him at all. He would not have ventured out in the new snowfall of six to eight inches. A half inch of ice with a thick blanket of the white stuff would have deterred him.
The weather predicting rodent would have burrowed deeper into his comfortable home and said; “Heck, I’m not stirring out of here.” Joining him were all the other varieties of rodents we have around here: tree rats (squirrels), possums, raccoons etc. all stayed in for the last four days. Not a paw print has yet marred the pristine snow.
So, do we have six more weeks of winter?
I shall wait and see. But in the meantime I am filled with the hope of spring and the promise of rebirth that comes as winter loses her grip upon the land.