It is Groundhog day. Honestly, it doesn’t mean a lot to me. Its prime significance is that it is my father’s birthday. He would have been one hundred one years old today. He unfortunately only managed to get to forty.
The Groundhog business is truly so silly that I cannot even remember what the groundhog’s seeing his shadow means. I do think that it means six more weeks of winter and apparently he didn’t see his shadow. Here in Deerfield, he would have seen his shadow, for whatever the significance is. It is very important however for other reasons. I think that it is a way to get us through the winter, a marker of sorts. Especially those of us who live in the north in the colder climes, this is helpful.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that kind of celebrates the harvest and perhaps causes us to give thanks. Christmas, for me, is a celebration I look forward to because of the children. New Year’s, so close to Christmas, is just a way of getting a nice recap of the year and move forward. These holidays, although somewhat meaningless, are helpful as something to look forward to, to be pleasantries.
Now we are heading into Ash Wednesday and Carnival and then toward Easter. Whether you are Christian or not, all of these secular and non-secular holidays that are adopted are just nice markers to get us through the season. I find that the toughest season is the time after Christmas. At this point, we are perhaps not all that happy with the winter season and ready to move on. Mother Nature, however, or Nature Mama, as one of our grandkids says, has different ideas. I am already thinking about my love affair with Passover Egg Matzoh, a favorite of mine since childhood. When that appears in the store, I will be filling up my coffers.
Another thing to remember is that so many of the so-called religious holidays were put in place by the Church to replace pagan holidays. Even the supposed pagans had markers that helped them get through the winter.
Yes, these holidays, as silly as they might be, like that of Punxsutawney Phil of Groundhog Day fame, serve a true purpose.