An excellent episode of the Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor details the many significances of today’s date, which I found fascinating:
- cross-quarter day, exactly half-way through the solstice and the equinox
- the pagan celebration of Brigit the goddess of fire called Imbolc which is the ancestor of Groundhog’s Day
- the Christian holy day Candlemas commemorating the presentation of Jesus
I’ve previously written on Groundhog’s Day and the all important Groundhog’s Day Carol. Regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil did or did not due today, I predict that winter will end on March 20th barring worldwide cataclysm. That doesn’t mean we won’t have pleasant weather as it’s been mild and sunny in Boston the past couple of days.
The February Thaw was a staple of my childhood calendar. I always enjoyed a week in February where we could run around without our coats, although I don’t think we’re there yet. Of course we always paid for it with cold, wet & miserable weather in March and surprise snowstorms in April. So winter will return, but that’s all the reason for warming up your vocal chords for the Second Annual Winter Song Sing-a-long which I decreed to start on the first Monday after Groundhog’s Day. Expect posts on that theme next week.
Back to the Writer’s Almanac, Garrison Keillor also mentioned that February 2nd is the anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. In honor of this day I’m going to begin reading this incredibly complex novel via feeds from DailyLit. Unlike my last expirement with DailyLit reading The Woman in White, I’m going to post periodically about the book as I read it over the course of the year, so, you know, I don’t forget what happens at the beginning.