A typical February day, both in my memories and today’s experience, is gray, muddy, and moist. Puddles and the sound of melting snow dripping on the deck are a constant, as are the imprint of paw prints across the wooden floor, requiring several quick swipes with the mop each day.
For variety, such days alternate with sudden freezes, like the one forecast for later this week, that turn every walkable outdoor surface to ice, and every necessary navigation to a dance with death, or at least a possible broken limb or two. In November, I look forward to snow and ice for all the magic they bring; by February, the melting of all that snow and ice, and then the freezing of all those puddles, become less and less enjoyable. The garden catalogues have become so pawed through the ink has blurred and “gardener’s impatience” begins to mount: Let me out! I want to plant seeds, and weed weeds, and caress the earth.
Of course, imagining spring and summer, I project only future bliss. In my fantasy of the coming months, there is no humidity; no chiggers or Asian beetles terrorize me or my gardens; no drought threatens to choke green lushness, nor will constant rains drown it. It is the promise of perfection that contrasts so sharply with the utter dreariness of February, a month whose name means “purification,” not a great selling point. It’s also been called “mud month” and “cabbage month,” also not terrific slogans were we advertising its virtues.
We northern natives survive this challenging month, knowing it leads to the perfectly-placed season of Lent (Yay! Six weeks of spiritual purgation!), by having winter celebrations, heralding the longer days, making fun and sport where clearly Mother Nature and the Catholic Church intended none to exist.
This week, we’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day; the following week, Mardi Gras, and, locally, the Knickerbocker Festival exists solely to celebrate celebrating, I think, although it’s ostensibly dedicated to winter’s unique offerings, of which I am a devoted fan. I love snow and ice, snow-shoeing and hiking, skating, and the way the winter atmosphere and the many crystals it creates refract light like no other season.
For the local festival this year, some men built a small scale version of Stonehenge, using ice from the lake. Icehenge generated some media attention, and the day I walked down to take a look and some photos, I met people from the Madison and Milwaukee area, who came for the adventure…as I said, it’s a tough month, and any excuse to get out and do something different is welcome.
February celebrations save our sanity just long enough to last till the first mosquito bite.
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4 thoughts on “February Celebrations”
Ahhhh yes, the bloomin’ mud month!!! The only good thing about February is that it takes us closer to spring….I would love to have snow here..I love it too! It is so transforming. Gosh, the colours in the ice, how very beautiful!!! We had icicles everywhere last year, I couldn’t take my eyes off them.
The festivals sound marvelous, especially the Knickerbocker one, I laughed out loud at that! I hope you post on them all.
I love your Valentines deccies and that amazing crystal stonehenge, what a fab idea!!!xxx
And it’s the shortest month, too, which keeps it tolerable. 🙂 The kids (students) and I have been so happy these last couple weeks when we leave school at 5:45 and there’s light in the sky!
They are excited, too, about our various parties over the next two weeks…and then we’ll look forward to St. Pat’s, in March. 🙂 Always something to celebrate. Thanks for your visit and the time you took to write, Dina; I always love your words and encouragement. 🙂
Stonehenge is beautiful. And your post reminds me of the parts of winter I don’t miss. Yesterday we had 70 degrees and blue skies. Friday the high will be in the 30’s. That’s NC winter. Then we all get sick because our immune systems are totally confused!
Yikes…the 70’s sound divine! But I agree, the up’s and sown’s can be chaotic for the immune system: take good care! 🙂 I do love the NC landscape; it’s the politics that keep me from moving there. WI is bad enough. 😦