Call me odd. Call me crazy. Call me a (very) good-looking genius. But growing up, Groundhog Day, February 2, was probably my favourite holiday. As a kid who loved summer, I guess there was just something inherently appealing about a day where a cute, furry animal supposedly had the power to proclaim the end of hated winter.
The famous editor of felix's daily starfish and waffles declares February 3 the real Groundhog Day, where predictions of an early spring are determined by wise, dependable bears ... not dull, unreliable groundhogs.
Sadly, scores of unreliable forecasts from prognosticating rodents wore down my enthusiasm for Groundhog Day over the years. Far too often after a promising February 2, the snows of winter would extend into March, April ... and, sometimes, May ... or even June ...
Some held the northern, Canadian latitudes responsible. Others, the Arctic winds or La Niña. Secretly, I always blamed the groundhog.
So when yesterday came and went, I have to admit I paid no attention to any TV celebrity groundhogs and their associated reactions to shadows. Heartbreaking, maybe, but I no longer cared.
Chirping birds outside my bedroom window woke me up early this February 3 and, for a brief moment, I thought it could be spring. While I tiptoed toward the kitchen for some breakfast, I noticed that the editor, a Canadian Brown bear, was also waking up.
As he emerged from his den beneath the canopy of my living room ficus and pine, he rubbed his eyes with both paws, let out a small yawn, and stepped into the bright, morning sunlight, casting a long, dark shadow. I gasped, fearing that the shadow would spook the editor back into his den, thereby condemning us all for six more weeks of winter.
But, fortunately, the editor is no cowardly groundhog. He nonchalantly ignored his shadow, sniffed the nearest flower, and poured himself a big bowl of Sugar Crisp. After watching all of this, I not only thought that it could be spring, I knew that it was spring. And I can't tell you how happy this makes me.
So there you have it folks, on this February 3 - the new, real Groundhog Day - we here at starfish and waffles are declaring it spring. Remember, you heard it here first.