Monday, February 3, 2020

Groundhog Day, a correction

To present clerkmanifesto in a clocklike fashion, with a new essay bursting onto the internet like an orange hit with a baseball bat each morning at 8:30 Central Time, there is always a certain amount of writing ahead of the moment of publication. And so when I wrote a post concerning Groundhog Day in Minnesota, and there had been 87 consecutive days of impenetrable, gloomy, and profoundly overcast Winter skies, I felt quite safe in blithely constructing my post around the idea that the groundhog, two days hence, would fail to see his shadow.

But Sunday dawned. Palindrome day. 02022020. Groundhog day. I stumbled out of the bedroom to look out on our city and the river, and I was blinded. It was so bright that it was like I'd never seen the sun. I did not recognize the blueness of the sky. This was because it was blue! The bald eagles circling the river were visible from miles away. Geese ceased their huddling on the river ice and took to the air to exult. Light, magical light, bounced and shone and glittered and illuminated.

And some groundhog, somewhere, looked down and saw a groundhog shaped shadow!

Because of all the incessant cloudiness I said Winter, according to the shadowless tradition, would end this Groundhog Day. But no, the groundhog saw his or her shadow and so Winter is set to continue for a long, long time.

Until the clouds broke I think this forecast would have been too much for me to bear. But oddly I feel calm and even a little happy. 

When Winter smiles, it's dazzling.

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