Its February!

Welcome to the month of freezing temperatures, grumpy over-sized rodents, budding love, and black history month.

Let us begin.

Is it just me wondering if mother nature is as irritated as the rest of us right now?

Being located in Toronto, Canada, we expect, though begrudgingly, a proper winter. I look forward to seeing geese fly away, ducks disappearing from the Toronto harbor, and watching chipmunks and other creatures collect for the winter to be. The announcement of the Santa clause parade and other seasonal gems that signal to me that change is in the air. 

We didn’t get to savor the last drink on the patio for the fall season, the rush of Christmas after Thanksgiving, and many other taken for granted events we have become used to experiencing due to the pandemic we are still waging war with.

So please tell me why winter is flirting with us? It’s like telling us a Drake album is being dropped and then weeks later, we get the rest of the statement, ‘..just saying’. Even better, ‘we should be rounding the bend on the Covid-19 virus and then we find out that Corona, invited her cousins over without warning. ‘Like, oh yeah, these are my cousins, B.1.1.7 and B.1.1.207 they’re like international’  

When nature is groaning like we are, something is up! I’m not saying I want the ice storm we had in 2013, but a consistent chill in the air and enough snow covering to do some winter activities would be nice. Mother nature, if you’re listening to this audibly or reading this over someone’s shoulder as they wait for a streetcar on another two-degree day, please put on your Snowbelt and come by and say hi if only for a couple of days. We miss you. Oh, and if you see Jack frost, tell him he owes us a few extra skating days at the end of the month.

In hopes that the weather changes a bit, it brings me to our next subject, our furry meteorologist friends, the groundhogs.

To not lose focus, I will address 3 of our ground dweller’s in particular, Punxsutawney Phil, from Pennsylvania, U.S, Shubenacadie Sam from Nova Scotia, Canada, and Wiarton Willie also from Canada, who hails from Ontario; Oh.. and the newest to the fold, Delroy, also a resident of Ontario, Scarborough to be precise. 

Now, this is not a Saturday morning kids cartoon so we cannot speak to these rodents. We can however ask ourselves, isn’t it time we left these critters alone? I only ask because I ran into one a few weekends ago. I assume it was out trying to get groceries early Saturday morning as many of us do. I was taking out my recyclables to the appropriate designated bin at my townhouse condo because I care about the environment when this big ass rodent startled me! It was Delroy. Vegetation in mouth, this dude fully went up on his hind legs and motioned to me too, back up! The dude was staring me down like I wasn’t following the social distancing decals on the floor in Superstore. Out of respect, (not fear because I’m a G) I shirked to the left a bit to give my man a bit more space and he slowly gave me the two-claw salute that he was watching me and went about his business.

I only bring this to light because he was actually out of place…what was he doing there in mid-January? Why wasn’t his ass sleeping like he was supposed to be? Creeping up on people on a Saturday morning? 

I wasn’t scared or anything, I’m just saying. 

Mother nature doing what she wants so now these rodents doing what they want. It’s crazy out here!

I’m thinking, we just let Anthony Farnell from Global news and his peers tell us if we need boots or not. Leave them rodents alone! The past year had been rough so I know we need something fun to lift our spirits, and what better than a large rodent that we just woke up from its sleep? Thank you Sam and Willie for signaling an early spring several days ago. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and, the majority hope that Mother Nature also recognizes your contributions and shows us some early seasonal kindness. As for scary Delroy and his rodent colleague Phil, ‘You both got issues you need to work out is all I’m saying.’ Hopefully, this time next year, we can all congregate outside together to wake up our furry friends. Until then, everybody, groundhogs included, please stay home.

I also will be taking my disposal material to the receptacles mid-day going forward.

 Staying home is not easy, especially if you are single and thrive being outdoors, trying new things, meeting new people.

A week or so from now, we will welcome, Valentine’s Day. Our favorite chubby deity will be flying around shooting people with arrows of love in hopes that you will not swipe, to the left, to the left

How is the dating scene out there? Anyone… There is too much to discuss, dive into, or even scrape the surface when it comes to love. This subject will require its own blog, however, I do know that in the month of love, love is made out to be much more complicated than it has to be.

In my opinion, love is simple. It’s in the way you get your spouse more crackers because there’s still more cheese and sausage on the charcuterie board. Love is when the person you are dating brings over more masks and sanitizer and just puts them where they belong without a mention. Love is you just hanging with your dog, reading a good book while scratching behind its ears. I think love is in the little things. In this stay-at-home environment, I think a lot of us have come to appreciate the small things that show love and to me, that triumphs any single day gesture that valentine’s day can bring. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about romance and loving gestures, I just believe that this time around, we can give cupid a little time off. 

Except for December, February has the distinct opportunity to evoke a wide array of positive and somewhat negative emotions. We covered the joy and sadness the cold temperatures this month can bring, the longing and appreciation for love the 14th of this month sparks, and the glee in hoping that cuddly rodents will signal an early spring. 

This month also brings us an appreciation of tried and tested people. A people that relied on faith in their God to overcome hardships that we are now able to speak freely and boldly on. These people are a part of every fabric of society the world over. This month we celebrate, Black history month. 

Whether you look at the history or the heritage, the struggle or the hope. Our American heroes: Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks or our Canadian champions, Viola Irene Desmond, civil rights activist, the Honorable, Lincoln M. Alexander, or the Honorable Jean Augustine, who I had the pleasure to meet and speak with, within a social setting. 

It is our responsibility to dig and to search about the contributions they have made and to learn of their strength, and so many others like them.

As a black man, I have experienced the triumph and trauma of what it is to be a person of color. Too much to discuss in this piece but I will say I wouldn’t have changed a thing. My strength has been built on the sorrows I endured, the lessons from past horrors, some still unspoken, and the reflections of brothers and sisters now starting this race. 

I’m thankful for the mercies of God, that allows us to look back and see, so our sight will be more clear in the future.

I encourage everyone, of every creed and color, to learn about each other, because it’s in that learning that we have heard echoed a million times when we will find out how similar we all are.

Enjoy the rest of February!

Dress warm, tell someone you love them or get ready to love someone, stay away from big rodents, and most importantly, respect the differences you see in people. Educate yourself on the differences that we are, so we can live as a more harmonious unit, united in finding love for all.

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