The Christmas season comes and goes and then there’s January. The month which everyone agrees lasts forever. In fact, the trek to thirty-one days has an uncanny ability to make time stand still somewhere in between, even appearing to go backward at certain moments. Just when you think you’re nearing its end, it’s as though it musters up another few days just for kicks…days thirty-two, thirty-three and thirty-four. While those extra days aren’t ever seen on a calendar or published factually, the secret has long been out that there are more than 366 days maximum in one year IF you truly count each minute in January.
January’s blahs are surely fuelled by typically colder, snowier weather here on the prairies in Canada. Worse yet, short of the New Year’s holiday on the first of the month, there are no statutory days off to look forward to for a bit of reprieve from back-to-work/school schedules. Add in present-day COVID-19 travel bans, and holidays of any kind are non-existent. Short of the possibility of family birthdays or celebrations, there is nothing else to lure or tempt us out of the ensuing slump of dark and drabness that January entails. Instead, it is a month-long, mental marathon of hope that spring will come sooner rather than later as we defeatingly scour our surroundings for any signs of new life, melting snow or warmer temperatures. Then, FINALLY, it happens…
The eve of February 1st arrives, and with it, comes the polar opposite effect. In contrast to January’s sluggish and stubborn movement, the month of February tends to blow on by, as per my experience anyway. While it is nearly six whole days shorter than January (I’m sticking with my belief in its thirty-four day ‘secret’ structure), there’s more to it than just its modest length in time. Considering that February can be one of the most brutal winter weather months here with March being a close second, you’d think I would dread its very existence. I don’t. I welcome it because February means we are that much closer to life outside of the house. Given that October is usually the start of winter around these parts, February is at least one solid, possibly two, standard deviation(s) away from the supposedly beautiful autumnal equinox. That means we are heading toward the vernal equinox which is far more enticing than the aforementioned. Longer days alone help to alleviate seasonal blues as hues of green hint themselves here and there. The lightness doesn’t just equate to the hours of sunshine in a day either as the nearing arrival of spring signifies lighter clothing options and lighter moods. Ahhh… the tantalizing thoughts of shoes versus boots, jackets versus coats, rain versus snowy and icy conditions. And, let’s not forget the best parts of it all—the vernal equinox lends itself to prospects of flower and vegetable gardens, outdoor activities such as, golf and badminton, and… camping!
For avid travellers such as ourselves, camping allows us to stretch our legs, engage in different scenery and abandon our rigid schedules and never-ending list of chores minus the mounting costs often associated with other travel ventures. Sure, the RV/tenting life requires preparation, planning and some financial commitment, but it is easily doable on various budgets and it offers much more than hotel life ever could, luxurious or not. Camping offers irreplaceable, wide open spaces and fresh air as well as the sights and sounds of Mother Nature at its best. All of which keeps us going back for more, that’s for sure.
So, tonight as I finish up this post on the eve of the eve of February 1st, I will propose a toast…. to February! Welcome, my short-lived friend. I’m happy to see you again. You are my kind of vibe. While every day is a good day and January kept us all in good health, which I am grateful for, your month is always a sight for sore eyes. Cheers to longer days, salivary thoughts of spring and all that it promises to bring. 🙂