Happy Groundhog Day

I live in almost continuous spring in Southern California, so the predictions of Punxsutawney Phil, who has his day in the sun or shade on February 2, are not nearly as important to me as to many in the Northeast of the U.S.

I have many friends in Pennsylvania, so I would be remiss to think about this day without a mention of this hallowed event. Celebrated today, people gather at Gobbler’s Knob just outside Punxsutawney to hear predictions from a rodent named Phil, the world’s smallest and furriest weather forecaster. Check out the official web site.

At 7:30 in the morning Eastern Standard Time, Phil comes out of his burrow. If he sees his shadow, he predicts six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, he forecasts that spring is near. The townspeople claim that he has never been wrong. This annual celebration began in 1886, so that makes this the 120th year! (We must assume, however, that this is not the same Phil.)

Here is a video rental recommendation. If you want a magical story, rent the video or DVD “Ground Hog Day,” a feature film starring Bill Murray and Andie McDowell. This Harold Ramis film is classified as a “Romantic Comedy,” yet is also a brilliant film about time, time warp, consciousness, wisdom, awakening, and love. It is one of my all-time favorite films. If you’ve never viewed it, perhaps it’s time. If you have viewed it, perhaps it’s time to see it again and again.

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