Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day: The Audacity Of Hope

Sunday afternoon it was a chilly eighteen degrees, but no matter: the sun was parting the clouds with lancet-like precision; and in spite of the cold, it was a beautiful winter afternoon.  Walking along the bike path, I could almost be convinced that winter was about to take its leave, and I might meet spring right around the next corner.

Late January and February hold a hope that is unknown in November and December.  The days are actually now getting longer—noticeably so—and we have once again discovered that commodity so plentiful in summer, but so completely elusive in winter: sunshine.  The hope is that spring may well return after all.

Today is Groundhog day, and we have turned the corner.  Groundhog day, it seems to me, is the day that the hope really begins to exert itself.  Regardless of whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, we can begin to see the light way out there at the end of winter’s long, dark tunnel.  And seeing that little flicker—no larger today than the head of a matchstick—sparks my excitement for warmer weather, outdoor fun, working in the yard until 9:30 or 10:00 in the evening, taking long walks in shorts and t-shirts on a Lake Michigan pier, going on long bicycle rides each evening during the week and even longer weekend rides in new places . . . .

Ah!  I can see it all spreading out before me now.  Before today, spring would have been impossible to envision.  But today is Groundhog day; it’s time to give winter a swift kick in the behind!

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