I am writing and posting this in the wee small hours of the morning before Woodstock Willie gets yanked from his slumber at 7:07 this morning or the original Punxsutawney Phil back east in Pennsylvania will see their shadows or not. It hardly matters. It will be the coldest February 2 since the McHenry County town began celebrating annually in honor of the cult classic Bill Murray movie shot there with the temperature hovering around zero. Then we are expected to get 5-6 inches of snow over the weekend followed by about a week of more snow or flurries every other day. No matter what, winter seems determined to stay.
Most years I mark Groundhog Day with one of my usual in depth histories of the pagan origins in the Celtic festival of Imbolc or similar Norse observations and Christian cooption of those traditions as St. Brigid’s Day in Ireland or Candlemas in Britain and the adoption of folk customs into made up American pseudo holiday. Or sometimes I rerun a favorite essay on the symbolism and philosophy of Groundhog Day, the movie. Once or twice I threw both together for an extra hearty read.
But last year, just days after the inauguration of Donald Trump and as the scope of the disaster was unfolding faster than the gloomiest predictions, I was moved to commit poetry.
Since we wake up again in the same predicament, it still seems apt.
Groundhog Day 2017
It’s not yesterday again!
It will never be yesterday again.
But if you don’t
get your ass out of bed right now
and do something
today will replace it
in the time loop.
You don’t want that.
Today is going to be a