So today is February 2nd. It marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring solstice. For wiccans and pagans, today is known by a couple of different names—Imbolc, Oimelc (“ewe’s milk”), the ancient Egyptians called today Feast of Nut (celebrating the birthday of the goddess Nut), and the ancient Romans called this time Lupercalia.1 In more modern times, we refer to day as Groundhog’s Day. The day that a rodent will declare if it’s six more weeks of winter or six weeks until spring.
I’ve always found that to be funny—because no matter how you look at it, it’s still six weeks until the official start of spring. Yes, there might still be some winter temperatures and weather during that six weeks (and we’re probably going to be seeing more winter weather lasting longer due to climate change), but the days do start to get a little longer, and stay a little warmer.
This year it’s been “predicted” that it will be an early spring—in other words, it was probably cloudy when the groundhog “came” out of its burrow and didn’t see it’s shadow.2 The animal seeing it’s shadow and predicting the weather, has been around for a long time—I guess it’s more “humane” to make use of a rodent, then trying to lure out a bear or other large animal to see what they’d “predict.”2
While I’m ready for the spring temperatures and longer days, I will miss the atmosphere of curling up with a blanket and book on the weekends, or working on my latest knitting project (which I’m hoping to have finished sometime this year). Though it will make it also a little easier doing the walks at Boomer Lake on the weekend if the temperatures aren’t in the twenties or teens (with windchills even lower).
Happy Groundhog’s Day or Happy Imbolc Day (depending on what you practice, and believe in).
I’ve added in the reference to the Imbolc image here as well, as I noticed it doesn’t show up all that well on the picture.