February 2nd is the day when a (nearly) famous groundhog emerges to see his shadow. If he does in fact see his shadow, it signals six more weeks of winter. (Even if he does not see his shadow – there are still six more weeks of winter.) It is a day of parties and merriment in Punxsutawney, PA. You may recall the movie with Bill Murray – Groundhog Day.
It was actually Germans immigrants who brought along their tradition of celebrating the midpoint of winter. They did were not able to find any badgers in PA and had to use the groundhog to carry on the tradition. It is a day that signifies that we have reached the halfway mark in winter.
The hibernating animals are beginning to stir in their underground nests. I think that is how we all are feeling. The sun’s light is getting a little longer each day and the warmth of the it’s rays feels good on our skin. We can almost taste the days of spring ahead. There are a few other signs to look for, such as the snow drops and crocus beginning to emerge from the ground. The bods of the flowering trees start to swell. I saw a few hostas peaking through a sheltered part of the garden last week.
These feelings that we have a real and remind us of our connection to nature. We start to look through catalogs and plan our garden.
The Philadelphia Flower Show, the largest indoor flower show in the world, is attended by over 250,000 people. They are hungry for a taste of spring – even if it is literally forced. So, take heart, spring is not all that far away. The groundhog and other indicators remind us that we are half way there.