February — bah, humbug

February is the shortest month, thank God. I am not a fan of winter, and February is the depths of winter.

Ever since last August, I’ve tried to start the month with a reflection about what makes that particular month special. I struggle to say anything nice about February, and my mother always said “If you can’t say anything nice …”

The best thing I can muster to say about February is that by the time it ends, winter is almost over, at least officially. In these parts we see the occasional snowstorm in April or even May, but at least that snow melts rather quickly. Snow is a constant cover in February.

Oh, there’s Valentine’s Day, a time to celebrate romance, but shouldn’t one celebrate one’s partner every day year-round? Shouldn’t we regularly treat that partner in a way that makes Feb. 14 just another in a long series of days of loving companionship?

Oh, there’s the Super Bowl, the grand championship of a sport built for autumn after a series of playoff games, some of them played on frozen fields when most sane human beings are inside warming by the fire. (Don’t get me started about winter-sport championships played in June.)

And oh, pitchers and catchers report for spring baseball training in mid- to late February, but at least they have the sense to do so in Arizona or Florida. Here in the north, that beloved white sphere most likely would just get lost in a snowdrift.

No one writes stories (although maybe someone should, perhaps as a parody) about a cranky codger who thinks February is a humbug but, through a series of supernatural interventions, comes to know the real meaning of February and vows to keep February in his heart all the time for the rest of his life.

In our neck of the woods, the beginning of February means six more weeks of winter, whether or not a rodent sees its shadow, and after that — finally — blessed relief, some years more quickly than others. 

And so, here’s to February, the shortest month: May it fly by as fast as it can.

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