Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Five: It's (Almost) Groundhog Day Edition

I have to admit: I never thought much about Groundhog Day.

Then I saw that movie. And an odd holiday that seems to be a remnant of an obscure Pennsylvania German custom took on all sorts of new meaning.

So, in honor of the movie and the day, let's play the Almost Groundhog Day Edition of the Friday Five!

1. The Holiday:  On a scale of 1-5 (with 1 representing, "Hey! Stop hating on the most awesome season ever!" and 5 representing, "Green. NOW."), how much are you hankering for spring? And what is, to you, a true sign that it is actually on its way?

I am one of those odd people that actually has a little love in me for every season of the year-- especially when it's new. By now, in my part of the world, winter's getting a little bit old, though I have a little enthusiasm left in me for another nice big snow or two. Then, I'm probably done. So I imagine that puts me at about a 3.

As for signs of spring, I would normally cite the appearance of hyacinths in the stores, but since they have already appeared here locally, during January, that doesn't seem like much of a harbinger.

Here, for nothing, a poem my mother taught me about hyacinths:

If thou of fortune be bereft
And in thy store there be but left
Two loaves, sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

2. The Film: Seen it? If yes, Love it? Hate it? Meh?

As the author of this Friday Five, I must confess: I love this film. I suppose I love second chances, and third, and fourth, and so on and so on. Which, I suppose, as a minister, is something many of us have staked our lives on. No?

3. The Meaning: If you could relive one day of your life, what one would it be?

I remember the play "Our Town," when Emily is given an opportunity to relive a day in her life after she's died. She is warned not to choose a wonderful or special day... the day will be special enough. She chooses her twelfth birthday. I like that choice, partly because it's kind of a mystery to me. I don't remember my twelfth birthday. A recent opportunity to read a diary I was writing in that era convinced me that memory is an amazing and flimsy thing at times. I'd love to see what life was really like for me then.

4. The Meaning, Part 2: If you had to relive one day of your life over and over until you got something right (a la the Bill Murray character in the film), what day would that be?

For this, I think I would choose a day when my children were small, probably my son. I was learning parenting on the job, like every single one of us. But if only I could have figured out how to do it with grace, and breathing, and meeting my/ our frustrations with humor, and forgiveness, for both of us... if only!

5. The Meaning, Part 3: If you had to design a life-changing experience for a fairly despicable human being (as is, for example, the Bill Murray character at the film's start), what would it be? How, given all sorts of unlikely powers to bend time and take control of another person's personal growth, would you do it?

I think the ultimate educational, mystical, incomprehensible tool to change a human's understanding would be pretty simple. Call it the "Freaky Friday." A switch-- with someone in completely different circumstances. Let the CEO know what it is to be shivering under cardboard at night. Let the student know what a challenge the teacher faces. Let the preacher know what is in, not just the heart, but the day to day grind of the one sitting in the pew.

Happy Almost Groundhog Day everyone!


  1. I am totally up for a big snow (but no loss of electricity please)...just to slow everything down. That also relates to how I played the F5 as well.

    Love the purple hyacinths...but then I would!

  2. Brilliant number 5. I think that's exactly right. That makes me think of To Kill a Mockingbird. Speaking of literature, I had not read your response when I mentioned Our Town in mine, but there it is, isn't it? Wilder really captures something in that scene.

    I have some moments with my children I wish I could replay. I suppose we all do.

  3. I found myself thinking about special days and trying to remember birthdays...oddly, I remember my 15th and 16th birthdays but not my 14th or 17th, nor most of my birthdays in my 20's...probably because they were not a big deal? Memory is an odd creature. Good Friday Five...

  4. My home garden and school garden both came with hyacinths ~ a blessing indeed