Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day

It occurs each year on February 2. Its origins seem to be in a relatively minor Christian observance, but as far as I know only in America is any big deal made over it. Supposedly, the groundhog (a small burrowing mammal) emerges from its burrow, looks around and goes back in. If it sees its shadow there will be an early spring, and if it does not there will be six more weeks of winter weather. Or maybe the other way around. The whole story is probably apocryphal, and the Torah takes a dim view of trying to tell the future by such means (see Dvarim 18:10,11). But that's beside the point. The legend, if that's what it is, expresses another idea much better than ordinary prose can (ha-meivin yavin). I AM SICK OF WINTER. SICK SICK SICK. I am sick of bundling up like an Eskimo whenever I go outside. I am sick of slip-sliding on the sidewalks and streets; I am a runner, not an ice skater. I am sick of the thought of becoming an invalid if I fall and break something, however unlikely since my male bones are not made out of peanut brittle (barukh shelo asani isha). I am sick of not knowing each day if my wife will make it home from work with her ankle in one piece (I know, the spouses of police officers, firefighters and soldiers don't know if their loved ones will make it home alive). I am sick of looking at ugly sooty snow on the ground. I am sick of either being cold in my own house or paying through my nose (and burning precious fossil fuel) to keep warm. I am sick of the teaser snowfalls we've been getting, not enough to cancel work or school but enough to send me out to shovel when I'd rather be doing other things. I am strong and healthy barukh Hashem and I wouldn't mind shoveling snow if I didn't have to do it in the freezing cold. It all must be a Communist plot; for Russians this weather is positively balmy. I know I'm not the only one thoroughly disgusted with winter, though there are people that actually enjoy it, and not only Russians.

Groundhog or no, I don't know what kind of weather we will have beyond four or five days from now. But I hope and pray for an early spring.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you thought of moving to California?

Wed Feb 04, 06:45:00 PM EST  

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