I’m not sure if we count because the weather changes so often, or if we count because our attention is increasingly drawn outside in the Springtime, waiting for the golden moments to escape the gloom of indoors.
It feels a little strange to talk about anything other than COVID-19 right now, but yesterday was the Spring Equinox, and this morning was just too beautiful to overlook. At a time where we can’t go to restaurants, stores, and other public places, we’re blessed to have the riverfront for our residents.
I’ve recently learned that Irish mythology almost universally describes leprechauns as wearing red. Further, and this is the real shocker to me, there is no known mythological association between leprechauns and breakfast cereals. Apparently they mostly just fixed shoes, though they were fond of playing tricks on people. I was told growing up that people wore green on St. Patrick’s Day because leprechauns would pinch anybody who didn’t, but similar to the methods of Santa Claus, I later learned that the leprechauns exclusively outsource their duties to willing (cruel) family and friends.
I tend to forget about St. Patrick’s Day and wearing green every year, with my mind turned more towards the lengthening of the days and the coming of the spring equinox. This year Daylight’s Savings Time will happen on March 8th, but by the equinox we will have reclaimed all of the lost morning daylight postponed by the change. There’s definitely a feeling of renewed vigor and energy with the coming of the equinox and the transition from winter to spring. Even though it’s been a fairly mild winter, I’ve been impatient to get back outside, and I’m looking forward to what this spring has in store.
I’ve been delighted to walk the grounds and see the early spring bulbs coming up, and I continue to check on our cherry trees to see when they’ll open this year. Our humble little driveway becomes a lane bordered by snowstorms of fragrant white cherry blossoms each year, and for the short while it lasts, it’s probably my favorite display of the season. We’ll also be holding our annual garden box lottery this month, which is the harbinger of our growing season. I’ve been delighted by all of the flowers I’ve seen in the boxes in the last few years, and hope we keep up the tradition.
Whether you wear your green for St. Patrick’s Day, or you have a green thumb, it looks like the month has lots of good things in store. We’re on the march!
For such a short month, February’s calendar plays host to some interesting events. I just recently learned that February 14th is not only the well-known Valentine’s Day, but also National Organ Donor day. I guess the people in charge of these days figured that while people are busy giving their hearts away, they should make plans for their other organs as well. Another interesting combination in February this year is the 17th, which is now both President’s Day, as well as National Random Acts of Kindness Day. My best guess is that the intent is to practice a kindness towards yourself and others and not think or speak about anything having to do with your opinions about the President for an entire day.
But probably most interesting this year is the inclusion of an extra day due to the leap year. I can see why it would be added onto February since it’s such a short month, but really, if you’re going to add a day on to a month, why not sometime nicer like June or July, when we could all go outside and enjoy it? I’ve read that in some cultures, February 29th was considered the only day it was appropriate for a woman to propose marriage to a man, and that men were either not allowed to refuse, or had to pay a hefty price for refusal. And of course birthdays are complicated. There is a family in Norway with three children born on the leap day of consecutive leap years, and I’m certain that they’ve grown very tired of hearing that they are all much younger than they look.
The February calendar at Homewoods is also full of interesting events. For example, we have our Mardi Gras dinner, then the next day we observe Ashen Wednesday and the commencement of Lent with a solemn trip to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Nothing says penance like pasta! We’ll also be holding our church service and Super Bowl viewing party back-to-back for those of you who have placed bets and require extra prayer on the outcome of the game. For a shorter than normal month, we’ve done our best to pack it with as many opportunities for fun, activity, education, health, and community as possible, and I’m sure there will be something for everyone.