Today, Feb. 2, 2012, you may be bustling from class to class, stressed, with a bag full of books. To you this may be just another Thursday, but to many people it’s something more, something special: Groundhog’s Day.
On this hallowed day, Punxsutawney Phil steps out of his hole in the ground to share his shadow to the good people of Pennsylvania. With a degree of meteorological accuracy that ranks somewhere in between Grandma’s knee and Ben Franklin’s almanac, Phil offers more than a simple weather forecast, but the continuity of a legacy and an understanding of the world around us.
In an informal survey — in which I yelled at people passing by my computer — one out of seven Goshen College faculty/students will not be celebrating Groundhog’s Day. Sadly, I included myself in this survey. While I don’t have plans to recognize the day just yet, I may take a cue from my friend Angela Bishop (who, at last year’s event, watched the festivities live and made groundhog-shaped pancakes) and incorporate some sort of food into the action.
But my point is not to encourage pancake consumption, call for the procrastination of homework, or glorify a 121-year-old groundhog. Rather, I hope that taking time for holiday celebration becomes a smelling of the proverbial rose. When we recognize events that occur every so often, we not only break from our weekly routine but we can live our lives with a needed degree of uncertainty and variety.
So, you might have missed out on Groundhog’s Day, but worry not, dear reader, for tomorrow is Elmo’s Birthday, a perfect opportunity to eat some cake and reminisce about your childhood trips down Sesame Street. Toothache Day is Feb. 9, which, coincidentally, coincides with the day that Hershey’s Chocolate was founded. These are just a few, and hey, maybe you can start your own. Or e-mail me and I’ll set you up with a list.
(This message was approved by Punxsutawney Phil and the Punxsutawney Groundhog Lodge Committee)