It is February 2nd – Groundhog Day.
Legend has it that if the groundhog emerges from its den and sees its shadow, it will retreat, and winter will slog on for another six weeks. If it doesn’t see its shadow, spring will arrive early. Judging by the amount of snow we’ve had this week winter is far from over.
In the early darkness of winter evenings, I sometimes catch myself wishing the days away, yearning for the warmth and light that come with spring. Dark winter nights can have a distinct Groundhog Day feel to them.
As much as I’m excited for the sunshine ahead, I’m determined to appreciate the season that I’m in. This past Monday brought with it a slate of school closings, a massive dump of snow and sporadic white out conditions. After considerable debate about whether we should go out for our lunchtime stroll, Mackenzie and I forged out to enjoy a surprisingly pleasant walk through the winter storm. From the inside it looked foreboding, but once outside we were able to appreciate the beauty of fresh snow, enjoying the squeals of laughter rising from children playing gleefully in a snowbank as we passed.
I feel the bite of winter air as I step out each morning and am reminded of the gift it is to wake up and commute to work on foot.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ll take blue skies over grey and a surplus of sunshine over shovelling snow any day of the week. But I’ll continue to practice presence and find gratitude on even the coldest of days.
Regardless of whether the groundhog sees its shadow or not, I hope you will join me in practicing the art of being present, and find some little ways to be grateful for the season that we are in.
I don’t believe that chunky rodent is clairvoyant anyway.
Even in the greyest of winters, we can find windows of warmth and light.
I hope that now you have dug yourselves out from under, you too are able to pause and catch glimpses of the unexpected beauty that surrounds us.
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong