By Joanne Guidoccio
Each year, I join in the fun and anticipation surrounding Groundhog Day, hoping Wiarton Willie (Ontario’s groundhog) will predict an early spring. A feeling that I believe is shared by millions of Canadians and Americans who are focusing on their respective groundhogs, among them Punxsutawney Phil, Shubenacadie Sam, Balzac Billy, and Buckeye Chuck.
Several years ago, I came across a very different perspective on Groundhog Day, one that forced me to stop and reflect upon my own personal barometer.
Here’s the post from Editor Bob’s newsletter:
In New York City, we crave the luminous skies and warm weather which are still months away. I am recovering from the cabin fever. All is frozen outside but certainly not my heart.
As a curious explorer in school, I used to enjoy weather forecasting by observing the activity of a groundhog at Staten Island Zoo where on February 2, the groundhog comes out of the burrow all day and the ceremony is open for all.
As it looks at its own shadow it indicates the continuation of cold dry winters while if there is an umbrella of clouds, it stays outside predicting the arrival of spring. The behavior of this intelligent rodent helps in predicting the waning of winter or the onset of spring. I find this phenomenon fascinating.
Last evening as I was sitting with Fred, my retired, reformist friend, at the pub, he enlightened me with his perspective of the Groundhog Day which was rather unique and interesting. It gave me a new insight.
Fred said, “You know Bob this day reminds me of my lonely days. I emerged from my coldness only to find my own shadow which was as solitary as my pride. My seasons never changed till I transcended my attitude and eventually, I made great friends who enveloped me in love and warmth. When I open myself to camaraderie, the springtime of my life continues.”
The only prerequisite for long-lasting happiness is to stop walking in your own shadow. We are the weather prophets of our life.
Are you warm or cold today?