I heard the Pileated Woodpecker drumming over in the pine woods this morning, so I'm heartened to know spring can't be too far away. Hello, February! The second month of the year has always seemed to me to be an in-between sort of month, devoid of much of anything that's terribly exciting (apologies to anyone whose birthday is in February!). We seem to spend this time simply holding our breath and waiting for something better to come along. Chocolate-covered Love and weather-watching groundhogs, along with presidential birthdays that have been seriously altered to provide a three-day weekend to the point where no one remembers that the original birthday for George Washington was February 22nd--don't--any of them--seem to give much back in terms of joyful celebration, do they! So, we wait....and wait.....with 'bated breath (that's short for a-bated).
Most alternate names for February are less than flattering. Historical names include "mud month." (I can attest to that out here JOTOLR!) Kale-monath or cabbage month is another name. In Finnish (and I am of Finnish descent) the month is called helmikuu, meaning "month of the pearl;" when snow melts on tree branches, it forms droplets, and as these freeze again, they are like pearls of ice. (I will have to ask my exchange-student brother in Savolinna to send me some pictures of this!) Finally, in Ukrainian, the month is known
As you long for March, remember it will be windy and full of tricks to trap you into believing winter has left, once and for all. It will tempt you to go barefoot through the fields of budding daffodils. Oh, beware of false hopes! For March can be that way. It's probably best to curb your hunger. Tree limbs will tumble, the lawn furniture you got out too early will go skittering across the porch...and you will know March's forceful personality! You'll be wishing for April to open the door to the real spring. And when that happens, you'll know you're wishing your life away!