Groundhog Shadows

According to folklore Groundhog Day got it’s name because of the following; if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow (on the 2nd February in Northern America), then spring will arrive early, and if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.

Look, friends, whether you watch the weather or feel the seasons life is full of well, real life. I am back in the UK and find myself going through “stuff”. The stuff stored in my brothers cellar in bags and boxes all set for a future unknown. There is a temporary dynamic of suitcase living right now which is a tangible experience of the temporary nature of life. It engages my whole being to look and see and ask what is needed now and what we think we might need in the future. Isn’t that where the rubber hits the road though, when we work through our “stuff” we have three choices. Discard, store, engage. We are often thinking about how it might serve me in the future. The “stuff”. We have the objects and the journals and the groundhog puppets…..hang on a minute. Did she say groundhog puppet? She sure did.

It’s a funny old moment when you come across a groundhog puppet in a bag of things that you just can’t bear to throw away.

The groundhog was given to me by my parents. I don’t remember the trip, where they had been, how old I was or what made them think that a “holiday” keepsake in the form of a groundhog puppet was a good idea, but the whole thing is surreal. I sit here now and wonder why I have never given it away and I have a very deep feeling in my gut. You see, even as I sat in the cellar and went through stuff that I had already spent time filtering, I found myself wrestling over this groundhog puppet, again. (Please feel free to picture me wrestling with the groundhog puppet….that’s honestly the image I have even now and it makes me laugh)

Do you remember that movie with Bill Murray called Groundhog Day? I haven’t watched the movie in years but if I remember correctly the character takes a while to see that he is waking up to the same day, everyday, and here lies the gut feeling! This really must be the start of a new conversation, so do bear with me as I try to begin it with myself. There has been a “groundhog day” quality to a number of days and seasons in my life, the same cycle repeating itself for years, being drawn back to family and familiar matters and habits in my heart and head and being consumed by it in my gut. Honestly, I can handle it lightly and I am not writing with angst, but I am looking at something that feels very real to me.

Look, the link is possibly too tenuous for some, but the groundhog represents a number of habits that would emotionally get a grip on my gut and have me pining for what was. Thinking I might offend the ones I love because I let go of an object, a way of doing things, a thought process towards a situation or event, past or present, seems to be the root, and well because futile and weighty things serve us all so well for so long, it’s a wonder when you to stop and see it. So, something new has begun. Because of a groundhog puppet.

As I stick my hand into the puppet of cyclical emotional behaviour here is what it mouths at me.

What is the thing? What is it attached to? How does it serve your story today? What are you going to keep to serve the past, the present and the future and what is no longer yours to hold onto?

Now breathe, and have a giggle.