Why does the shortest month of the year seem like the longest one? February is a hurry up and wait month.
The third month of winter, wow that is really something to look forward too don’t you think? In fact the ancient Romans didn’t even acknowledge the winter season in their calendar year until 713 BC. Until then the calendar only had 10 months to coincide with the growing season. No January or February.
Where I live February can be a tease month. The first shoots in my garden peek out of their wintery beds, testing to determine if it is safe to spring forth only to retreat at the first signs of fowl weather, and there is always fowl weather.
The seed catalogues hint at the summer to come but it is too early to do anything about it. The stores start filling their racks with lighter brighter fashions that I would only be too happy to try on if I could get these dam layers of winter wear off while maneuvering in the claustrophobic box they call a change room. But then do I really want to expose myself to the reality of the muffin top that has appeared due to winter hibernation?
There are the few lucky ones, the chosen, the anointed ones who manage to escape to warmer climates for a winter respite. Do you have any idea how fast a week goes when you are drinking frothy blue drinks on the beach of a tropical resort? Tease, tease, tease. February is still waiting for you when you return.
There is Valentine’s day. I do love chocolate!
Still one day out of 28, hardly a blip in the calendar, and now I am back to waiting. Waiting for spring, waiting for warmth, waiting for bright colours, waiting to get outside to garden, waiting, waiting, waiting.
I shouldn’t complain, if Augustus Caesar hadn’t stole a day from February to boost up August, the month named for him, and Julius Caesar didn’t take one for his month July, February would be 2 days longer. Two more days to hurry up and wait.
Did you know that the old English name for February was Solmonath which means mud month? How fitting. I think we should change the name of the final month of winter to Patience. January has the bright sparkle of newness, the hope of the possibilities of a new year, a clean slate, the determination of resolutions to be a better person somehow, but then a few short weeks later the realities of February rears it’s ugly head and the guilt of those already failed goals have begun to sink in and then one has to patiently wait for spring to bust forth for another dose of optimism and renewal.
Ok, I’ll admit it, February is not all that bad. The days are getting longer. I am now going home from work while it is still light out, that is definitely a plus, and there have been a few bright sunny days that have broken up the monotony of the month. Nature is not totally gruel. Could that be why Valentine’s day is in February to remind us that nature has a heart?
In the meantime, I am in a hurry to see the end of February. I am ready to move forward with the year and the cycle of life in nature, her rebirth. At least I take comfort in knowing that this cycle is eternal, spring will always follow winter, the warm weather will most definitely return….eventually, and the dullness of winter’s sleep will awaken in a burst of colour so fresh and crisp as to be a feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul.
Until then there is nothing to do but wait.