February is a quick month. With just 28 or 29 days, by the time you get used to the idea of February, it's halfway over. I'm not complaining. The quicker February goes, the quicker spring gets here. And by February, any novelty winter had is long gone.

February is surprisingly bright. The sun appears more this month than any time during the winter. But if snow is still piled up, that sun reflects upon the white ice the assault your retinas. February is a preview of the sun that will come the rest of the year.

So, is February hopeful? Not completely. If you dislike winter, February brings a feeling of "Will this ever end?" Sunsets are still early, sunrises still late. And the snow takes its time to melt.

February is pink and red, and by the end of the month, purple (at least for Catholics). It's basketball every weekend. It's the joyous words that give a hint of spring: "Pitchers and catchers report ..."

Because February is a sweeps month, no reruns. February is "Shake It Up" by The Cars and "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure. It's "The Silence of the Lambs" and "The Breakfast Club." It's full of sugary hearts.

February is unavoidable and somewhat necessary. It wraps up winter and starts preparing spring. It's not unpleasant but not entirely optimistic, either. February is the last couple hundred yards before you see the summit. You know it's there, and you know there's still work to do. But at least you know, the worst is behind you.

This is February.


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