My Apology to the Groundhog
By Sam Burnham
I doubted our groundhog.
Sure, it was a moment of weakness aggravated by an especially chilly morning. It was a typical reaction to the brisk wind blowing across your ears. It was a predictable response to the biting feel of the frost on your hands as you scrape it from the windshield. I needed someone to blame for my agony and the furry little weather prognosticator was an easy target. General Beauregard Lee told us that spring was coming early this year and I questioned him. Ok, so I didn't just question him. I called him a liar. I said he hated us. I suggested that he had pulled off an elaborate ruse and was laughing at our misery. I accused him of conspiring against us.
I owe him an apology.
Because when I find myself wearing shorts and and listening to the Indigo Girls singing Southland in the Springtime and Drivin' N Cryin' playing Honeysuckle Blue and the calendar still says February, Spring has certainly arrived, just as Beau foretold. I find myself closing my eyes and allowing the warm sun to drape itself over me. I've sat out on my back deck after sundown and listened to the song of the frogs in the swampy woods. I've watched the birds as they arrive back from whatever shelter they neglect to take me to when they disappear each fall.
The mornings and the evenings are still crisp enough a Southerner needs a garment with sleeves but the peach and sherry trees are beginning to blossom. The dogwoods won't be far behind. I've switched to raw local honey in my coffee to try to fight the forces of evil that have attacked my sinuses. And we are officially 56 days from the pack date for Vidalia onions. 56 days? I can almost smell them cooking on my grill.
Beau, you were right. I'm sorry I doubted you.
And now I'm off to sit in the warm sunshine and enjoy the fresh air.
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire