Groundhog Day Grounding

This is a bit no; a lot off my usual topic path but let’s stop to think for a moment about what this day represents.

So cute. Photo: CNN

For me; whenever I think about Groundhog Day I think about the movie by the same name with Bill Murray and the déjà vu feeling of reliving the same day over and over.

While we don’t exactly repeat the same pattern every single day of our lives, our morning and evening rituals tend to be predictably the same.

Speaking of habitual habits, today I decided to break my morning routine..if only a little.  I still brushed my teeth, walked my dog and had a coffee first thing after waking but then I meditated and wrote in a journal some empowering words and what I intend to accomplish if only for today. I was instructed to do so when I started the Aligned Woman Workshop Series with a group of fabulous women. As women we tend to multi-task and many times take on more than we can chew; so this workshop is about setting boundaries, creating balance and bringing more abundance into our lives, among other topics. 

But getting back to today, February 2nd…

I never fully understood why people rely on a little furry creature to tell them how long winter will last instead of a regular weather person.  But I go along with it like so many others.  If you don’t already know (good for you if you do) and if you’re so inclined to read about it,  here’s a bit of interesting information on an annual tradition that’s about as strange as anything can get.

How did Groundhog Day go from a kooky local ritual to an annual celebration even those of us who don’t worry about winter can find the fun in?

There’s a wealth of information out there if you look for it but I’ll try to break it down (which is one of the things I do best).

A group of men wearing top hats and tuxedos gather around and wait for a groundhog named Phil (always named Phil) to come out of his hole (known as a burrow), and if Phil sees his shadow (let’s assume they know he sees or doesn’t see it), the town gets six more weeks of winter.  If he doesn’t see his shadow the town gets an early Spring.

The town is called Punxsutawney (pronounced Punk – sue – tan-ee) located in Pennsylvania. It’s actually a borough in Jefferson County, PA.

On this day, thousands of people including international media visit the town for an annual weather prediction by Phil.

But did you know…

Before using groundhogs they relied on badgers for the winter/spring update . A regular badger,  not to be confused with the honey badger (the one who doesn’t give a damn about anything if you witnessed some of the videos about them on YouTube – also considered one of the most aggressive and dangerous animals in the world). 

Getting back to the groundhog:

Before he was a celebrity, he was lunch. Yes; him and his family! In a terrible twist, the earliest Groundhog Days of the 19th century involved devouring poor Phil after he made his prediction. The year 1887 was the year of the “Groundhog Picnic.” Pennsylvania historian Christopher Davis wrote that locals cooked up groundhog as a “special local dish,” served at the Punxsutawney Elk Lodge, whose members would go on to create the town’s Groundhog Club. Diners were “pleased at how tender” the poor groundhog’s meat was, Davis said.

I’m so happy they stopped doing this but I’m certain the groundhog is even happier. 

I have a feeling badger meat is not as tender although I haven’t tried it either.  I have read that people, especially in countries such as Russia, Croatia and China, have eaten badgers for centuries.

Oh well; according to Phil they’re getting another six weeks of winter.