By the time this has been printed and distributed, ground hog day will have come and gone.
A day, fortunately, not promoted to holiday status which means everyone has to show up for work. The mail will be delivered and you can transact business at your bank and/or government installation.
I don’t put much reliability in the ground hog’s ability to predict winter’s end by seeing his shadow. But it has become a media event that, by the next day, the world and the media have moved on, proving they gave the event more notoriety than it deserved.
So for a few brief hours we look at this animal that has just awoken after hibernating for some time, blinking in the bright light, with the attention of people holding cameras and microphones, pointed in its direction, waiting for the ground hog’s determination on the timing of winter’s end.
What a bunch of silliness.
Will winter end in six weeks or won’t it?
Of course, it will. Six weeks from now puts us in the area of March 21. The calendar will tell us it’s the first day of spring.
The sun is letting us know winter will end because we can see it is rising earlier and setting later as it moves higher in the sky.
But wait, what was that other event that just ended with people climbing out of their places of refuge, blinking in the bright light of cameras, microphones, as the world awaits their determination?
Oh yes, it was the Iowa caucuses.
And just like Groundhog Day, its time has come and gone, along with the people who seem to have made it a media event as much as a political one.
And like ground hog day, its importance was overrated and exaggerated.
Don’t get me wrong. The attention from campaigns, pollsters, news types along with talk show hosts was flattering.
Hearing my home state making headline news day-by-day and then hour-by-hour up to the big event on Monday evening was quite a rush.
But like the ground hog, by the next day we Iowans were yesterday’s news and as significant as used Kleenex.
The cameras, microphones, and the people who held them were last seen making a hasty exit for the next big events in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
The big snow storm the day after the caucus will be the new news, but we will have to fend for ourselves now, which in reality, is what we do the rest of the year.
So, here it is, mere days afterwards, we sit like a jilted lover.
The phone has stopped ringing.
The pollsters have stopped polling.
No one wants to know what we think about the subject at hand.
Or any other subject for that matter.
Deep down inside we knew, like any infatuation or quickie romance, it wasn’t going to last.
Fortunately, spring is on the way with its annual promise of renewal and future pleasant days.
Was it all just a dream?
No, it was a bunch of silliness.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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