I know it seems crazy to say I love February when most people here in the north find it a very tough month. But I have always been a person who loves whatever season it is; tending to say “this is my favorite time of year” every season.
My favorite thing about February is Imbolc – also called Groundhog Day. Imbolc is an ancient event that occurs on February 2nd and marks the time when the earth begins to awaken from winter. It literally begins to warm from within. Though the atmosphere around the earth may be the coldest of the winter, causing February to feel like a very lo-o-o-ong month, the snow is more likely to melt on the sidewalk and our boots sink through the snow into wet beneath. Imbolc reminds us that spring is on the way. Birds may start singing and the early ones begin pairing up; some even begin an early brood. Of course, Groundhog Day, while just kind of silly, does make me laugh, and alludes to the fact that spring is just around the corner!
My husband is one of those who takes the attitude that Valentine’s Day is just a Hallmark Holiday and refuses to participate. That’s okay because the cards are usually too schmaltzy, and I don’t need any chocolates – though I love them! I appreciate that there is a holiday which asks us to remember to love those who are close to us and tell them so. Me, I believe that any excuse to spread love is right on purpose for my life. I take this opportunity to include in my messages of love not only my husband but my dog, my daughter, my close friends and colleagues, my favorite neighbors, and anyone I happen to meet that day. I’m the sort of person who has enjoyed buying red carnations and handing them out to everyone I love or appreciate. I have been the recipient of it more recently and felt blessed.
Our pets love us unconditionally and put up with being bossed around and playing second string to everything else in our human world. It seems important to remember my wonderful dog on this day of expressing love.
One person I believe should always be loved and pampered on Valentine’s Day is oneself. Why wait for someone else to do it, who maybe won’t remember, or who doesn’t really get what you need to feel loved? Self-love is the foundational love of our lives. From self-love and care flow all the good we have to give to the world. Watering our generosity toward others with the wellspring of self-love and self-care ensures that what we give flows fresh and true; without an underlying bitterness about not being loved enough in return. So, on February 14, I plan something special and sweet to honor the sweetness within my own soul and help it grow. I wonder what I will do this year?
One more reason that I love February, is that it is so close to March! I keep an eye out for the hibernating daffodils that Trader Joe’s gets in and have been known to deliver them with love notes to my neighbor’s doors. These usually come in March and open their blooms when put in water. Little miracles each one! And of course, March winds are spectacular joyful waves of spring arriving in the air. They may incite us to get out a kite and let it ride the wind with freedom and joy. Though it is still cold, winter is essentially over. I love the smell of thawing earth and the brightness of bird calls when no leaves are on the trees to soften their sounds. I love the way the wind pushes me along my walks making the trees creak and groan and the sound of melting snow dribbling off houses, trees, and chuckling down gutters. I dress warmly but know soon it will be warm and the miracle of spring will be born again.
February is a time of love and hope for me. That is why I love it!