Today I learned for the first time about the pagan roots of groundhog day, which gave me a fascinating new perspective on the tradition of rodent-based weather prediction. Imbolc, or Candlemas, part of the cross-quarters, the dates equally spaced between solstice and equinox, the temporal/geographical center of winter. Which means we’ve gone through just about as much winter as we’ve got coming up. Which seems about right.
For me, the idea of groundhog day is less evocative of a particular date or rodent, and more of the oddly brilliant movie Groundhog Day, in which, as you all know, Bill Murray is forced to live the same day over and over, ad infinitum. The film, in a strange way, captures an essential part of the human experience; who has not at one point in their lives felt like they’ve been trapped in that movie? And today, with a thin smear of grainy snow on the hard ground, an uninviting wind encouraging me to stay inside, my head thick and achy, somewhere in the foggy zone between sick and well, feels like one of those days.