I don’t really care what the calendar says:  February is the longest month of the year.

The days seem to creep by dimly-lit, and the nights come far too soon.  The winter solstice passed more than a month ago, but somehow February days feel darker and slower than the shorter ones of January.  With eight days remaining in the month, I find myself wanting to wish away a week of my life and wake up to find that March has arrived.  As I think about this phenomenon, it occurs to me that changes have begun in the last week.  The sun is appearing earlier and seems unusually bright as it creeps over the horizon.  The clouds that have hung low in the sky now are back-lit in bright yellow-white that sometimes sends them flying across the sky.  As the snow begins to melt in the sunny afternoons, I find my eyes drawn to the newly-exposed earth as I search expectantly for just a glimpse of green.  I look at the tiny nubs of buds on the lilac bushes and dream of the day when leaves will appear.  I pause and wonder whether the world has changed or whether my own sense of awareness has created a craving in me that sees subtle changes as something more abrupt.

Maybe it’s the anticipation.  I think of my childhood and realize that my February feelings are very similar to those I had in the weeks and days before Christmas.  As the excitement would build, the clock seemed to slow to a torturous pace that made each day seem a week long.  Then we would arrive at Christmas Eve.  Do you remember closing your eyes and willing yourself to sleep but failing because your excitement about the next morning was so much greater than your need for rest?

I think that February is the longest month because its end heralds the coming of Spring.  The closer it gets, the more we crave the green that we know will soon arrive.  After a long winter’s sleep, my body is rested and my soul is hungry for the renewal that lies just around the next bend.  It is February 20.  The calendar does not lie, nor will it change to suit my impatience.  Once again, I will myself to rest, renew, and rejuvenate; but each time I try to close my eyes, one of them pops open and scans the world in hope of finding a sign that Spring is here.  I don’t care what the calendar says:  February is the longest month.