Sunday, February 22, 2009


I hate February. I try to be positive about it, to enjoy all that the dead of winter has to offer, but by the time February rolls around in the year I've had it with winter, and I'm ready for spring. That's just the way it is.

Perhaps it's that I don't ski. Not that I haven't tried on occasion, but I'm not any good at it. I do enjoy cross-country skiing a bit, but I'm under no illusions that I'm any good at that either. For those who enjoy winter activities, maybe February is their favorite month. Then again, maybe it just isn't quite so bad.

It's not that I haven't tried to appreciate February. It has good points. I take the dog out and endeavor to enjoy the stillness, the quiet, the cold intake of air into my lungs. The freshly fallen snow is beautiful as it lies on the ground and branches of the fields and woods. No so much as it lies in my driveway, again, and begs to be cleared away.

Perhaps the cold, the stillness, the quiet are, in part, antithetical to the human condition. We look at the cold, quiet landscape and are reminded of the comparative lack of life. We crave warmth and feel only cold. So it is that some of the best parts of winter are in the avoidance, curled up in front of a warm fire, hands cupped around a cup of hot cocoa, or snug in our mountain of bed covers.

It strikes me as no accident that February is the shortest month. I don't know the origins of that, but I like to think that the calendar designers did it to instill hope, because even with four feet of snow on the ground and temperatures below zero, March 1st is blessed in that, at the very least, it is not February. So much does this affect me that I've always considered March 1st the first day of spring. I know. I know that the technical vernal equinox is not for about three weeks later, but I like to think that on March 1, winter is over. I've been known to look at a foot of March snow in my driveway and say, "You know. It's spring. God put it there. God will take it away."

March is just a week away, and that means winter is on the run. Soon it will be time for rebirth, for the warmth of the sun, and the smell of rich soil and green plants. Just be glad it's not leap year.

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