Wednesday, February 2, 2011
For Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Groundhog Day is celebrated in the U.S. each year on February 2nd. On this day in mid-winter, the groundhog awakens from a long winter's nap, and goes outside of his den to see if he sees his shadow. This tradition is big on an otherwise cold and dreary mid-winter's day.
According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow (a sunny morning), there will be six more weeks of winter. He then returns to his den and goes back to sleep. If however, he does not see his shadow (cloudy days), he plays around outside of his hole for a while. If he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner.
The Groundhog's Day tradition comes from German roots. German immigrants brought the tradition with them from Germany. As they settled in hills of Pennsylvania, they began the tradition of using the Groundhog to predict the the arrival of Spring. The tradition is based upon Candlemas, the day that is the midpoint between Winter and Spring. A famous Candlemas poems goes:
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is the site of the annual Ground Hog event. Our little rodent friend (yes, Groundhogs are classified as rodents) is called Punxsutawney Phil. There are a few other "predictors" around the country, but they all pale in comparison to Phil's ability to predict the remainder of winter.
For the Record Phil sees his shadow about 9 out of 10 times
4 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup whipping cream
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces almonds
8 ounces pecans
8 ounces walnuts
16 ounces marshmallows
20 ounces maraschino cherries, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
A Mid-Winter Prayer
From the rising of the midwinter sun to its setting
Scatter the darkness with the light of your love, O Shining One.
Make me short on mean thoughts, long on offering words of comfort
Make me short on being driven, long on paying attention
Make me short on focusing only on my own, long on looking beyond
Make me short on obsessive lists, long on spontaneous acts of kindness
Make me short on mindless activity, long on time to reflect
Make me short on tradition as a habit, long on re-discovery and re-owning
Make me short on rushing and tiring, long on walking and wondering
Make me short on false festive jollity, long on stilling and rooted joy
Make me short on guilt, long on being merciful to myself
Make me short on being overwhelmed, long on peaceableness as I set forth this day
May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
A bit of love from someone near…