I guess I owe the groundhog an apology.
For those who caught last week’s column, I suppose I was a bit harsh on the rodent relied on each year for an annual weather report.
Yes, I know referring to the ‘cute’ little groundhog that pops up each February in search of his shadow as a rodent is not very kind. This piece is to make amends of sorts and place a few things in perspective.
For a good part of February I spent a fair amount of time huffing and puffing around the office about Phil. The rain and cold got the better of me. Quite simply I was in dire need of natural Vitamin D.
By the week of breaking/outing myself in the way of my hate for Phil, my newsroom colleagues had begun to rally. “It’s not his fault!” they reminded me. They then continued with the rational logic of what if he did not see his shadow, would you hate him then?
This was perhaps the wake-up I needed.
Generally speaking, I’m a glass-half-full kinda girl. My mind tends to wrap to the bright side, but even the optimist can have a bad day, or month or season. And as I shared last week … I really missed the sun.
Then something beautiful happened. Amidst the thunderstorms, downpours and road flooding, last week we got a reprieve. The sun … she appeared and it was exactly what I needed.
Now granted, it was still freezing cold (to my native California bones). I tend to run cold all the time, so much so that our former Office Manager would often call from her office, “Put some clothes on,” as if I showed up in swimwear or something … sheeesh.
Wearing layers are common in our old building, temperature control from front office to back non-existent. Regardless, last week it was made all the better as we were all treated to some sunshine and blue skies.
Fortunately I had plans for lunch with a friend on Wednesday at a location that offered outdoor seating. As we sat there waiting for our order I was treated to a favorite thing, eyes closed and sun beaming on my face … ah … warmth.
Just moments prior to this glorious moment, he and I were on the phone as he traveled into town and I was barking to some colleagues that it was too cold. In short, I was grumpy, but the sun cured me. He quickly put me in check with some laughter. It is winter after all.
As we enjoyed the scenery, people watched and caught up on life I was reminded of how something so simple can not only be taken for granted but yield great results.
A little sunshine, some good company and a beautiful setting can go a long way. It’s not the groundhog’s fault, it’s life. The weather, metaphorically speaking is just exactly like life. We have good days and bad, ones that make us cheery and those that push us under the covers, but alas a new beginning is often just around the corner.
So as we face a handful of weeks more to this six week extended season, I’ll choose to returning to fill my glass full. The water was needed. The blossoms have returned and in time, so too will the sun. Until then, I’ll continue to chase the rainbows, live in the moments and look to the sun whenever possible.
Here’s to an abundance of beauty and bounty by way of flowers and produce. Until next year, Godspeed Phil.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.