Monday, February 28, 2011

In the blog, midwinter

By Sean McDonough, PhD
Associate Professor of New Testament

I don’t usually like to use the word “blog”, since I find it horrifically ugly. But it fits February. Like the month itself, I’ll keep it short.
At this time of year my soul often feels like the old snow covering most of the ground: melting, irregular, and spattered with grey. It is no wonder the classic film Groundhog Day is set when it is. Of all the times one might be fated to re-live, February would be the worst. Most of us wish they could crop it back well beyond than the usual twenty eight days. Bill Murray’s bitter response to a woman inquiring about the weather captures the mood best: “"You want a prediction about the weather?.. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life.”
I hasten to add that we are talking about feelings here – of course life in its goodness goes on, even in February, and there have been many reasons to celebrate even then: birthdays, “Kiss Me” sweets from a Valentine, Patriots Super Bowl victories…the list is hardly endless, but there are redeemable features.
Still, the greatest thing about February is that eventually it’s over, and with it winter. The snows of March and April are like young love, flitting into the world only to be vaporized by the long light of day. The Green Party may never win every four years in November, but they win every Spring.
This struck me with particular force the other day as I drove up the hill at Gordon-Conwell. We had had a few warm days, and there on the verge of the road the snow had pulled back a good foot to unveil the forgotten grass. I half-expected a dove to pluck a blade and fly it into my opened window. We had been adrift forever, it seemed, in an endless sea of snow…but the frozen waters were receding at last.
Not long now until Snow-ah’s ark settles for good.

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