A lesson is a’coming, don’t miss it.
As with many lessons, this one will be coming from an obscure place: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The crowds will be watching to see if a groundhog named Phil (who is an eternal character if you believe the locals – – who, upon closer inspection, seem to drink a lot very early in the morning) sees his shadow or not. Seemingly, this is a method of forecasting how quickly spring will come.
Yet, considering it all, it does sorta make sense – – even if you have not been drinking and polka-dancing outdoors on a very cold winter’s morning.
I have noted many a character that seems to bask in the light of another, maybe even to the point of an emotional need for it. Phil, that wise prognosticator, seems to understand that the sun is ephemeral in its presence, especially in the darker days of winter. The days are taken over more by nightfall, and daylight is easily obscured by clouds. Waking up to discover sun is a short term blessing, but it really might be safer not to count on spring coming soon or sooner, so let’s hunker down and wait another six weeks or so until Spring finally eventually arrives.
But, during the cloudy days of your life, where is your light source that has you embracing the hope and life of Spring despite the cold dark of winter? If the light is within your being, one that is illuminated by the Spirit of God and reflected by your disposition to others, then it is already Springtime in your heart. “From my point of view,” teaches Pope Francis, “God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.”
As in the movie clip below, your day-to-day is not a grind but an opportunity to perform your errands of random acts of grace. Mother Theresa believes “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” Answer by choosing to bask in the warmth of hearts and hearths and imagine better fates despite the clouds present in your life.
Conveniently, Groundhog Day is followed by the Feast of Saint Blaise where we bless ourselves with instruments of light and pray “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may you be protected from every ailment of the throat and from every other evil, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.” May we be protected from cloudy days of ailments and evil.
If not of the above works for you, then know this. Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training in three weeks.