It’s February! Five months since two cat 5 hurricanes blew through. Five months filled with stress and worry about recovery and repair, rebuilding and revising our plans. Five months of tired, haggard faces around us, navigating downed trees, pot holes, and lines. Five months that included generator noise and darkness, terrible cell service and nearly non-existent internet.
But now it is February! Yay! I love February. For most people, February is the month of love, hearts, flowers, chocolate. I like all those things, too, but Valentine’s Day isn’t the most important holiday in this month. No, not even George Washington’s birthday is the most important holiday (though since GW is one of my history heroes, I do wish him well). I hope you didn’t miss the most important day of February. It came on Friday last week.
I love Groundhog’s Day. I loved it as a child, I loved it as a teacher – making paper groundhogs with my students (I did it a few times even with ninth graders – they patiently put up with my silliness and enjoyed it without admitting it). I love it still. Why? Well, first off the day gives us hope. Whether the little guy sees his shadow or not, February second is devoted to giving us hope that winter will come to an end. Next, I get to watch one of my favorite movies. It’s a tradition with Karl and me that started maybe ten years ago- we watch Bill Murry’s movie. It’s witty and thought provoking and goes good with popcorn and snuggling on the couch. Third and most important: I love Groundhog’s Day because it is fun and makes me laugh, and after the winter we’ve had, we all need to laugh.
To me, because of the little marmot meteorologist, the month of February comes in with the promise of more sunshine, longer days, warmer water to snorkel in, and it prompts laughter. Somehow, starting the month with a calendar day devoted to a rodent predicting the weather gives me permission to lighten up. None of the things I was worrying about on February 1st have been resolved, but since the second, I feel a little more gleeful. I can see things with a shade of humor and that changes the day. Laughter is God-given. The ability to laugh helps ease the burden and renews perspective. Even in the middle of difficult times, a tiny chuckle can make all the difference. So, today I praise God for the groundhog!