We live near the groundhog, or woodchuck, called Punxsutawney Phil. Once a year, he lets us all know if there will be six more weeks of winter. This event, known as Groundhog Day, always reminds me of the movie of the same name.
In the movie, Phil Connors, an arrogant and egocentric weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering Groundhog Day, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again.
Eventually he discovers that he has the choice to act differently, and that changes the pattern of each day. Each day is the same, and yet not.
However, just making changes doesn’t release him from the time loop. It’s when his choices include opening his heart to his co-worker, Rita, and to doing good for others, that he escapes – because he is a changed man.
This brings me to the fact that things are not always what they appear to be.
Although we all know that Phil will declare six more weeks of winter, and today with the wind blowing, snow falling, and temperatures in the teens, it does appear that yes, there will be six more weeks of what looks like winter.
However, actually, spring is already here. The signs are subtle, but if one is paying attention, they are obvious.
For me, the first sign comes from the birds.
Just a few days before the end of January, as I hung the bird feeders on the branch outside my office door, (makes it easy for me during the winter and the closeness of the birds keeps me entertained – and often distracted), I heard the mating call of a chickadee.
Soon, more varieties of birds started their mating calls. I imagined them saying, “Hey lady, got room on your dance card for me? It’s time to choose, we have nests to build, and babies to make!”
A few days later, couples started showing up at my bird feeders, partners chosen.
What happens at the feeder is another lesson about things not being what they appear to be.
As I write this, there are bluebirds, a few varieties of woodpeckers, juncos, cardinals, finches, chickadees, and wrens all sharing food.
The juncos are kicking the snow at the base of the feeder to uncover the seed, dropped by other birds. Because they are ground feeders, they depend on that dropping.
The bluebirds hang out on a branch watching the woodpeckers making what might be considered a huge mess of suet, but by dropping suet all over the ground, they are providing the bluebirds with their lunch.
Although it may not appear that way at first, the essence of what is going on is a balance, an equality, of each participant fulfilling their unique place in a grand design.
This brings me back to Groundhog Day, and choices.
Aren’t there days when we wake up and think the same thoughts we had the day before when we woke up. We see the same day stretched out before us. The same worries, the same expectations, the same words spoken, the same outcomes expected.
How can we expect to escape that time loop if we don’t change first? And that change comes first from a change of choice.
It doesn’t take much of a perception shift to shift the unfolding of a day. We can practice changing one thought at a time to a different idea, a different expectation, and a different point of view, and watch the pattern of the day shift with that change.
Perhaps it feels like winter in our life. However, we can remember that what we see is not always what is going on. Listen! There is a different song in the air. There is sharing, and helping, and the living of purpose going on.
Groundhog Day is a wonderful reminder that change comes from within, one choice at a time.
It’s not that we are going to create something new and wonderful. There is no need for that kind of work. The One creator has already prepared a perfect day for us. All we need to do is stop the habits that show us a picture, a day, stuck in what is not working.
We change. We let go of what is not working, and see what Is. We become grateful for what is present, and that opens our hearts to see the grand design, where each of us, by living our unique spiritual blessing, fulfill the needs of each other in one ongoing spiral of expansive Love.
By the way, did you know that groundhogs are also called Subterranean Whistle Pigs? This is because they make a cute little whistle. See, things are not always what they appear to be.
You can hear this and other cool animal, bird sounds, here.