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Furry Creature Day

phil.jpgToday’s the day Punxawhatitz Phil steps out to assess his shadow, or lack thereof. Ah, Groundhog Day…a day which reminds me more of the MOVIE than the critter. (And if you’re a fan of the movie, check out this Zen interpretation.)

When I first started my long-term assignment in Findlay, I discovered a groundhog (woodchuck) living underneath a wrecked Datsun 240-Z at a nearby imported car repair shop. On occasion I’d see the fat little guy (it was the fall and thus Mr. Woodchuck was obviously not counting calories) waddle across the narrow drive to a grassy area and the promise of crab apples. Skittish by nature, the furry guy always seemed to elude my camera (pix is from Groundhog Club). The mechanic working at the repair shop told me a woodchuck family of four lived in a burrow beneath the rusting car, and she would sometime see him peeking out through the transmission hump. I never could time my visits to see such a sight, but I did catch him often enough to admire his plumping-for-the-winter success.

This time of year in Northwest Ohio feels more like the Groundhog Day movie. Days are spent grinding the routine of get up, go to work, come home. Repeat. The weather isn’t conducive to do a whole lot otherwise, and the overcast greyness day-after-day makes it easy to get caught up in a Groundhog-Day-like loop. Although it’s been a mild winter (translation: little snow), the absence of sunlight is depressing.

Today I’d be far more excited to see my own shadow (hence the sun) than whether the celebrated Mr. Phil sees his. At least he can waddle back into his burrow for more shut-eye whereas I have to waddle off to work. Again.

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