Happy Earth Day! It is with great pleasure that I wish to disclose to Pennsylvanians that we are going to be graced by spring before summer of 2018. There are still mixed messages about the exact date blooms will start AND continue to grow though, but keep the faith!
It has certainly been a blustery, slushy, freezing 70,000 day winter for us. I know many others around the country are also having a long winter, but I am only privy to disclose information about my home state of PA.
As a part-time sunshine I gained access to this report on Mother Nature from a reliable source, an experienced reporter who uses the alias Moe Crow. It’s not my job to determine the truth, but I feel a duty to share what I’ve heard. It may be a new Pennsylvania myth, for all I know, but I am hopeful that things are going to start warming up around here. A little birdie told me..
I’m the ambassador of the “Shine on Committee” in the Keystone State, so Crow called me concerned there might be foul play with Mother Nature. He claimed a group of groundhogs, known as the Whistle Pig Clan (WPC) tried to stop spring from coming.
This group is filled with conservative whistle pigs (aka groundhogs) who want to stop the objectification of the all-too-famous rodent couple, Phil and his wife Phyllis. They want to put a stop to the Groundhog Day fanfare over Phil’s shadow. The WPC recognizes how introverted groundhogs are and are fed up with the exploitation of a weather prophesying woodchuck.
Crow revealed disturbing rumors that started in Punxsutawney, PA, following the annual Groundhog Day ceremony back on February 2nd, 2018. That morning, the esteemed groundhog Punxy Phil saw his shadow: six more weeks of winter! The WPC deems this ceremony to be senseless and disturbing. This year they retaliated by interfering with the natural order of the seasons. The following is my retelling of the story Crow divulged to me.
After the groundhog festivities, Punxsutawney was cleared of its revelers (most of them) and eased back into its quiet slumber. That evening, a young couple admitted to passing out near Gobbler’s Knob, where Phil makes his prediction.
The couple blamed the Groundhog Punch for making them sleepy and “rested” a bit. They jolted awake to what sounded like a woman’s alarming screams…
Moe Crow got a tip that this couple might know something firsthand about Mother Nature’s springtime absence, and he was finally able to find and interview them on April 17th. He shared this story with me:
When Moe Crow asked Maggie Magoo, the female of the duo about the incident, she said, “A long solitary scream pierced the air with a pitch so shrill my teeth vibrated. It was the voice of a horrified woman. Then, I heard more screams, but these ones were muffled and seemed to descend into the ground.”
“You heard screams underground?” Crow asked.
“Yes! Then there was an eerie silence, like the whole town was muted like a library of unread books and hibernating groundhogs. My boyfriend and I got up, scanned the scene, and saw nothing. Then we ran away; that’s when we heard a few more underground yells, and then the same voice echoed in crazed laughter.”
“What do you make of these noises?”
Maggie just shook her head and shrugged her shoulders. The boyfriend, Mickey Hitch, finally spoke. “I think a band of groundhogs forced Mother Nature into a burrow.” Magoo elbowed him as if to tell him to zip it up.Hitch continued, “Maggie wants me to keep quiet because she doesn’t want to admit that we saw groundhogs going into that hole, the creepy hole with screams and laughs. She thinks we might get cursed or cause more weather troubles by sharing all this. But I know what I heard and am relieved to tell someone. About a dozen other groundhogs leaped into that hole in the ground where the noises came from.”
“What makes you think it’s Mother Nature down there? What does, Mother Nature even look like?”
Magoo put her hands into her tiny face while Hitch went on with the story. “C’mon, everyone knows you can’t actually see Mother Nature, as if she’s some mortal.”
Crow knew this, but said, “For the record, can you explain for those who don’t have the same connection you do with Mother Nature?”
“Oh, okay, but I thought everyone knew how to be one with her. I’m a college freshman majoring in agriculture, but I’ve known this since I was a kid. Anyhow, for starters, you just feel her, like from the temperature of her breath. She breathes down on earth from the tips of the trees planted in the clouds. From there she stirs up the wind and elements into recipes of rain, sleet, snow, and such. On earth she shows up as flowers and grass and bugs and worms. And you can smell her seasonal perfumes. Maggie here loves lilac air the best.” Maggie shook her head and smiled at Mickey.
“Very good, Mickey Hitch. I’ll need to remind folks that Mother Nature is supposed to take orders from Father Sun, but Jack Frost told me that she has been ignoring Father Sun since January. They had some labor contract dispute concerning the overtime she puts in when Frost goes on an ice bender.
Frost admits to his reckless indulgences and made a public apology to the National Weather Bureau. He feels guilty about all those who’ve been hurt by him and is currently recovering in IA, Ice-aholic Anonymous. His treatment is encouraging him to thaw out during the other seasons. He can get along just fine without the icy exterior, but he’s gotten into the habit of hiding behind the disguise. He has been struggling to warm up and keep busy beyond his work season with other non-icy ventures. Mother Nature is just sick of his uncontrollable urges.”
“Wow! I didn’t know all that,” Hitch remarked and tenderly grabbed Maggie Magoo’s hand. “Things are out of control. I miss Mother Nature, and we need her back. Maggie needs the lilac bushes.”
“I agree,” said Crow. “That’s why it’s important for you to share what all you know. We all need those lilac bushes.”
Hitch willingly continued, “Well, when we got back to our car, there were a bunch of kids building a snowman in the parking lot.
I really needed to pee and get rid of the punch, and beer, and shots of woodchuck moonshine before we drove back to college.” Hitch looked at the ground, embarrassed by his underage libations.
“To be discreet, I went back to the bushes near where we passed out, and when I came out of them I heard more sounds from the ground. That’s when I figured out what happened to Mother Nature.”
“What happened, Hitch?”
“An underground party happened!”
“You think Mother Nature abandoned spring to go to an underground party in the groundhogs’ burrow? Unbelievable!”
“I don’t think, Mr. Crow, I know! You asked, and I’m telling. I put my ear to the ground and heard singing and carrying on. I couldn’t stop listening. There was chanting and cheering. Then Maggie worried and came back to find me. She listened too. We heard Mother Nature giggling after a groundhog invited her to live in their burrow.”
“You could hear all of this clearly?”
“Yes sir, Mr. Crow. They made a toast to Mother Nature and yelled, ‘Dilly Dilly, Boycott Spring!’ I think because we had some mystical Groundhog Punch we could understand their language of Groundhogese. We could hear them as clear as a whistle.”
“Clear as a whistle? Clear as a whistle!” Crow screeched. “Ahh! That’s it! It’s clear as a whistle now! It must be the Whistle Pig Clan, the infamous WPC. I suspected they might have something to do with the weather, but I didn’t want to believe something so dramatic could happen in Small-Town, Pennsylvania.”
Magoo asked, “What’s the WPC?”
Crow answered, “The WPC rallies against humans’ wastefulness and accuses people of being selfish, littering creatures who ruin and capitalize on nature. They’ve been plotting against Groundhog Day for ages, but I never thought they’d go as far as brainwashing Mother Nature into becoming a party girl. She needs to get her head out of the dirt. She has vital responsibilities up here. Spring was supposed to start March 20th.”
“Oh dear!” cried Magoo. “What now?”
Crow said, “I got the information I needed. It’s now time for me to troubleshoot. Thank you for your reports on this matter. You kids are good citizens. I hope to get that lilac bush soon, Maggie.”
It came to pass that Moe Crow gained access to this subterranean culture of angry rodents where Mother Nature had gone wild. He took a few old crow cronies with him for support, but he did all the talking. In case you didn’t know, Moe Crow is a crow. Anyhow, after three days of deliberations, he convinced Mother Nature to come back to earth.
For the record, she explained her disappearance: I admit to getting burnt out, so I purposefully plunged down that hole away from my duties. I needed some time away, and the burrow became the ideal hiding spot. I’ve been wallowing in my muddy self-pity of being an unappreciated mother. In spite of my full-time devotion to my seedlings, earthly home, and lifelong calling, I felt completely invisible.
I did let loose and party a bit too much, but I also did a lot of reading, sleeping, talking, and praying. The whistle pigs are actually good communicators, and I was able to get them to see how humans thrive on their Groundhog Day traditions. I got them to realize how much Phil and Phyllis love living in the town library together, so they are dropping the war against the holiday.
I am truly sorry, but I needed this time to heal. I’m aware of how upset Pennsylvanians have been by my absence, and I’m sure they’ll be extra sensitive knowing I tunneled under their local soil instead of working. I can forgive their snarky jabs of me being bipolar, senile, insane, deranged, and more. I do not have seasonal affective disorder either.
I simply suffered a brief crisis and had to escape before I made things worse with my heated or icy breath. We all need time to recharge. I’m almost there and looking forward to serving our breathtaking earth again.
Mother Nature and Father Sun have been negotiating her services and are working hard to come to an agreement. She is willing to work part-time until the voting of a new contract. Things are looking good and the ratification of the contract will occur in May 2018.
All of us sunshines (full and part-timers) are hoping to get back up there and shine on with a more consistent schedule and help Mother Nature out. Neither I nor Moe Crow can divulge anymore than this, but we are certain that the rebirth of spring is upon us.
Today the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the bunnies are hopping. These are good signs, for sure. Happy Earth Day!