Monday, February 2, 2009
Shout out to Punxsutawney Phil, Bringer of Spring
I LOVE February, mostly because it means the end of January. January has always been a long, dark, boring month to me, despite all my tries to spice it up, find the good in each day, you name it. I still breathe a huge sigh of relief when February rolls around.
And to top it off, today, February 2, is Groundhog Day. Down in Oklahoma, where it doesn't get quite as dark or as cold as up north, Groundhog Day sort of gets shuffled under, but it holds a spot near and dear to my heart. I grew up in Indianapolis, where we longed for the passage of winter into spring.
I must have passed this dormant excitement about Groundhog Day on to my children. They insisted on dressing up for it this morning. My youngest, however, informed me that she was pulling for the groundhog to see his shadow. She wants more winter, more snow (That's what happens when you live far enough south). She'll not be disappointed. I've already been on the official Punxsutawney website. Phil's seen his shadow again.
Oh wait....Not familiar with Punxsutawney Phil? I wasn't until Bill Murray made that awesome movie, Groundhog Day, which centered around Punxsutawney Phil, the illustrious groundhog who lives in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia, where they have been celebrating Groundhog Day since 1886! That's a long time. Although, according to Groundhog Day history, the idea of celebrating a day predicting the oncoming of Spring goes way back to the Romans. I'm serious. You can read all about it on the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day website.
Phil's been quite the character throughout history. Why, during Prohibition, he went so far as to threaten the world with 60 additional weeks of winter if he couldn't get a drink. He traveled to D.C. to meet President Reagan. And, of course, he's been on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Reading all of this has left me with a hankering to join the tens of thousands who make their pilgrimmage each year to Phil's stump to listen to the furry seer. For those who yearn to see green buds, it sounds like it's worth a trip. Here's a shout out to Punxsutawney Phil, one of American's oldest, dearest and furriest seers who brings hope the beginning of each dreary February that longer, warmer days are just round the corner.