By Susan Flynn, Ministerial Intern
February is a very unique month. It is the shortest month of the year and it often seems to feel longer than it actually is, I always wondered if it is due to the placement of February. Most of the major fall holidays come before it, winter is not finished and spring has not yet begun. Many people seem to disregard February, viewing it more as, a period of time you have to get through, similar to a commuter state or town, just being the commuter month. In our church the theme of the month was perseverance which seems very appropriate. Winter is almost over but not quite; many people have cabin fever. The itch to see the sun regularly and shed the many layers of clothes and clunky shoes, is apparent. A lot of us have dealt personally with the flu and cold season and are ready for something other than soup, tea, and endless Kleenex. Which often leaves many of us in a less than stellar mood, at times blatantly cranky. Yet there is a beauty in this forgotten month, that seems to have a bad reputation almost by default.
For football fans, there is the Super bowl to look forward to, groundhog enthusiasts get hear a furry creature predict the weather. 1 billion Valentines cards are sent out annually midway through the month on cupid’s Hallmark holiday. The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring festival or the Chinese New Year begins in this month. February also used to be known as “Cake month”, where delicacies were made in attempt to win divine favor from the Gods that could bless or curse the coming growing season. The Jewish holiday of Purim falls end of February (some years), and the for the Catholics, half way through the month, Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lent fast. Buddha’s transition from life to enlightenment is celebrated with Parinirvana Day as well. This is a short list of a much longer one of particular reasons to celebrate, enjoy and delight in February.
Purification, is the etymology of this month. By February often the old year has been full concluded, and swept out. The over ambitious resolutions set in January have fallen away, we have made it through the turn of the year, and the flurry of the past three months settles. The snow is melting and we are getting into the muddy season, a messy but needed shift in order to summon spring. February can be a time of reconnecting and preparing, breathing out the previous year and settling more fully into the year that stretches out before us.
Whether you trudged, celebrated, or persevered through this month, I hope you will give February chance to be more than just the commuter month. And congratulations, looks like we made it!