Groundhog Day: Why Winter Matters
Yesterday was Groundhog Day. The day when Punxsutawney Phil comes out from his burrow to check in on the weather. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when Phil emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks
Today, Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. But winter hasn’t even really made an appearance this year. Yesterday was sunny and 60, today is 45. Down coats, winter hats and boots remain on store shelves. Rock salt and snow shovels are overly abundant at the hardware store. Friends of mine who have invested in Wovels haven’t had a chance to take them for a spin.
Many of my friends are happy about this lack of wintery weather. Even though I’m not a fan of cold and snow, I’m having a hard time doing the happy dance, the lack of winter has got me deeply concerned. We need winter, more than many people realize.
There are reasons for the seasons. Winter is a time for slowing down, for turning inward. For re-charging our batteries so that we can be full of energy for the spring season ahead. My acupuncturist, Jason Elias has written an insightful piece on his blog about Winter, you can read it by clicking here.
Plants and animals need the cold weather and increased darkness too. In our part of the northeast, extended periods of cold are necessary to prevent an onslaught of insect pests in the spring. More deer make it through a mild winter, resulting in more Lyme disease carrying ticks and more frequent attacks on my Hosta plants!
Let’s hope we get a cold snap sometime soon. But not like the one gripping Eastern Europe right now, check out the images from the severe cold there.