Why does the shortest month of the year seem like the longest one? February is a hurry up and wait month.
The start of the second half of winter, wow that is really something to look forward to don’t you think? In fact the ancient Romans didn’t even acknowledge the winter season in their calendar year until 713 BC. Before 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. Then retreat at the first signs of foul weather – and there is always foul weather.
The seed catalogues hint at the growing season to come but it is still 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 all 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 my winter hibernation?
There are a few lucky ones, the chosen, the anointed ones who manage to escape to warmer climates for a winter respite. Still, do you have any idea how fast a week goes while you are drinking frothy blue drinks on the beach at a tropical resort? Tease, tease, tease. February is still waiting for you when you return.
There is Valentine’s day though. I do love chocolate!
Yay, 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 days longer for me 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 this dreary 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 that will make us 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. Then there is nothing left but 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 has 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 the middle of 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 start of nature’s cycle of life; 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.