It’s Groundhog Day!
To those of you lucky enough to live in an area like Central Texas where you just seem to enjoy different levels of beautiful all year 'round, another six weeks of winter may not be such a big deal, so you may not know or care about the details of Groundhog Day. (Other than possibly being aware of a Bill Murray movie from the 90’s!)
Please allow me!
Up north, a lot of people are eager for Groundhog Day.
Even though the smart part of our brain kinda sorta knows that a rodent isn't likely to be able to tell us if winter is going to last for another six weeks, the passionate, (or frozen) part of us REALLY wants to believe! And why not?
Now, remember, I can only speak for Western New York (pretty close to Pennsylvania) and Ontario, Canada, but please remember, by February, we’ve endured months… endless weeks… nearly a quarter of the YEAR… of snow, of sub zero temperatures, scraping ice off our windshields once or twice a day, shoveling feet of snow and wearing an extra 10 pounds of clothing in order to stay moderately dry and not cold, but not necessarily warm.
Maybe our foreparents knew something that science forgot. Many of us still read the Farmers' Almanac (admittedly, often in line at the supermarket), or even look at horoscopes, fortune cookies or have "lucky numbers".
So why not believe in Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania's famous groundhog or even Wiarton Willie, the famous Canadian counterpart, that lives an even colder 400 miles to the north west?
As the legend goes, Punxsutawney Phil is a groundhog (also known as a woodchuck) that lives in Gobblers Knob, (you can't make that up), just outside of Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania. Similarly, Willie lives in Wiarton, Ontario, Canada.
On February 2 each year, Phil and Willie come out of their respective hibernation to greet the world around them!
Hold on, Central Texans, we’re getting to the exciting part!
If Phil/or Willie see their shadow, they get frightened and run back into their hole. And we, as cold humans are pretty upset about it, unless we're into snowmobiling or ice fishing. If Phil/Willie doesn’t see his shadow, we’re having an early spring!!!!
Hooray! Let's celebrate! Yahoo! Fabulous!
Willie and Phil have always been 100% correct.
Unfortunately, they each have an official group of handlers, and the handlers have been known to misinterpret what they were told by the Phil or Willie.
If spring comes early, or if the two groundhogs don’t agree, the humans have misinterpreted.
Therefore, Willie and Phil and 100% accurate. Humans, not so much.
That said, we’re still desperate and bone-chilled. If a sleepy groundhog is giving us hope, so be it. We’re there, and we’re cold.
This year, both Willie and Phil (who live about 400 miles apart, but in two different countries. Both cold. Did I mention the black ice and the endless grey, cloudy sky?) enjoyed a cloudy February 2nd.
Which means an early spring!
And even though now I’ve been adopted by this beautiful area and the people that live here, I can’t help but be excited about Groundhog day!
Now, why am I telling you this, and what does it have to do with weddings?