February: The New Spring

My daughter Penelope mentioned that we need more weather predicting groundhogs on the job  and that Punxsutawney Phil was off his game this year. I think so too. This year, the effects of global warming caused a abnormally mild winter up and down the East Coast of the USA. Last week, I saw a groundhog crawling over the edge of my raised garden beds, in search of a carrot or turnip from last summer. When he found his nubbin, he was content to sit there in the sunlight and munch.

If we never had a real winter this year, perhaps we never had our proper rest and now the strange itch of new growth is only growing stronger. While the shadows of radical and antiquated opinions attempt to drag us back into our holes, nothing can stop the natural cycles of our evolution. The only question we need to ask ourselves is, do we have the courage to face our shadows and stay awake while doing it?

February 29, Leap Day, is an important milestone in the life of Jane Hibernia Smith, the protagonist of Together, book II of The Janaforma Trilogy.

The events of February are a great metaphor for personal evolution. The month begins with the pagan festival of Imbolic on February 1. The earth may be frozen and blanketed with snow but deep underground seeds are stirring with an itch to be born. The groundhog emerges on February 2. What awoke him from his underground burrow? Did he hear seeds cracking or did the embryonic roots snaking around him tickle his back? The groundhog peeks out of his burrow, sees his shadow, and retreats, delaying the process of rebirth. Yet spring will come because nothing can stop the natural cycles of Earth’s evolution. If the groundhog could find the courage to face his shadow, his cycle of rebirth would begin immediately and he would not be asleep when the opportunity of Leap Day arrives once every four years.

In the case of Jane Hibernia Smith, strange things had been happening to her for weeks before February 29th. Yet when Hibernia finally emerged from her space pod, she does not run back to her empty life. Jane Hibernia Smith takes advantage of the rare opportunity of Leap Day and makes an evolutionary leap into her future.

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett