By now you may have heard that the most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, made his 125th prediction this morning. He didn’t see his shadow, meaning spring will come early. Yesterday, I researched Phil (trying unsuccessfully to rent one of my favorite movies, "Groundhog Day") and found that the groundhog tradition mimicks one that Pennsylvania’s earliest German settlers brought from Candlemas Day, often celebrated on February 2. The folklore states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May…" It seems that most areas of the U.S. have their own Punxsutawney Phil. Here in North Carolina, we have Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh. Wally did see his shadow, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter for us. Funny, but we’ve been enjoying spring-like weather, while Pennsylvania is having a blizzard. Maybe the groundhogs got their signals crossed.
Our warm, sunny days of late in the Carolinas have not only teased us with hopes for an early spring, but actually provided it, at least for a weekend. It’s not that I’m pining away for winter to end. I loved the days spent curled up with a good book in front of our fireplace, sipping hot cocoa and watching the beautiful snow fall. But I do look forward to each season ending because I can’t wait to experience the pleasures of the next one. Most places I’ve lived, the season to be endured is winter; in Florida, it was summer. Whatever difficult season you’re enduring, whether in climate or in life, it will not last forever. There is hope for something better, or at least something different, to follow.
For those of you in the Northeast and Midwest, take heart. This, too, will pass.