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Why is it that the shortest month of the year seems like the longest? For me, February is endless – a feeling which repeats itself annually without fail! It is true that the days are getting longer but that fact does not offer me any relief from my February “blues”. The depression from which I and many others suffer has a fancy name – Seasonal Affect Disorder – SAD for short. I know it will pass – it always does – but while in the throes of it, it is difficult.

One bright spot in this long, but short month, is Valentine’s Day – February 14. A group of which I am currently president, the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario, celebrates this day by all of us wearing RED to our luncheon meeting. Everyone participates in this by wearing at least one article of clothing which is red. That this actually does assist in boosting our spirits is evidenced by the fact that this meeting is always light – hearted and fun. It is a short respite from the deep winter deep freeze which still firmly has us in its’ clutches at this time of year. This year’s new holiday called “Family Day” will from now on give us a valid reason to anticipate and enjoy a long weekend between the Christmas and Easter festivities. We need it!

It makes sense to me that so many people chose to go to sunnier climes at this time of year. That desire for the sun and its’ warmth intensifies in me as I am getting older and I realize that I will have to succumb in the very near future. As I look back in my journals, the notes reflect that it is my darkest month and has been so for many years. A quote about this time of winter states, “Winter holds me with arms of icy white,
I pray for Spring to find me once again”. That describes exactly how I feel! A Paiute Late Winter Song also expresses my sentiments saying, “We are sick with the desire for the sun, and the grass on the mountain.”

The word February is believed to have derived from the name “Februa” taken from the Roman “Festival of Purification”. The root “ februo” meaning to “purify by sacrifice”. I gathered this information from Google. I’m not sure what this signifies to my sentiments about this month but it is of some interest to me as I wrestle with this second month of the year. The cold and snowstorms which occur regularly at this time are of no help in my fervent wish for the end of winter and the advent of my favourite season, Spring! Dr. J. Stockton wrote about this month, “February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time to March”. While intellectually I know that this is true, that thought is not much help to how I feel at this time of year! Oh, well, just six more days and it will be over once again. Time to start looking forward to Spring and gardening!

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