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Seasonal Reflections: February
THE SEASONS: February Reflections originally written in 2011
So here we are in February! A Funny Old Month! I always think of February as a surprise month. January you expect cold, maybe snow and quite probably frosts. If December, January and February are the months of Winter, January is smack in the middle and you don’t expect much of it. January, as we have said in abundance in past weeks, has a measure of expectation about it, simply because of the New Year. When we get to March or April we’re really starting think ‘Spring’ in a very clear way – but February?
I don’t know why I tend to be a lone voice in the wilderness, but I am a self appointed publicity officer for February. Oh yes, February has been known to be one of the worst months for snow, and certainly frosts can still abound in February, but here’s the sneaky thing that most people forget or don’t even notice – February sometimes pulls out days that almost make you think Summer has arrived. I can’t guarantee it, but just watch out! I have actually been swimming in the sea in February (and OK, it was cold) because the sunshine and air temperature was so good that it lured me into the wet stuff.
I think it must have been eight or nine years back that we had a drought here in Rochford – and being someone who keeps three or four rain barrels, I notice these things – and it started in February. From about mid-February, to late October, I believe it was, we had no rain at all. So yes, February can be the very end of Winter in more than name.
So what else does this season herald? Well before I write on this page again, Valentine’s Day will have come and gone – Monday 14th, men! According to www.history.com (a nice simple and straight forward web name):
“The history of Valentine's Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.”