Feb 1 – The Mixed Messages of February


What comes to mind when you first realize it’s February? What memories, historical events or important people come to mind? What about February do you look forward to this year?

Personally, I first think of another Valentine’s Day that I won’t be celebrating. My partner doesn’t like this day and I became less interested myself when my beloved grandfather died on this day. This “holiday” has become more of a dirge than a celebration, a personal St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

Next, I think of Groundhog Day. A funny day and an even funnier movie. Did you know that the Groundhog Day movie is considered a great metaphor for life from a Buddhist perspective?

Then I remember the U.S. Presidential holidays which quite frankly are another mixed message, from my perspective. George Washington was a rich slave owner and Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer who used the Emancipation Proclamation as a war tactic. Fortunately, both of these thoughts remind me that February is Black History Month in the U.S. which is a very good thing to celebrate.

My life has benefited greatly from African American contributions and specific individuals who have demonstrated honor and nobility in their own lives. Many black Mindfulness practitioners have especially role-modeled the benefits of nonduality and nonviolent principles.

Now I’m looking forward to this month and the topics I will be blogging about.

Finally, this mixed-emotional month reminds me of a poem published last year in a self-published book Natural Beauty and Other Poems (c) 2022 Patrick J. Cole

Here’s the poem:

One Tree, One Lonely, February Afternoon

In the middle of a field, far apart from others, that lie in the woods to the West,

stands a tree, alone, exposed on every side; a tree looking different from the rest.

How did this tree end up here, all alone? Does a tree ever have a choice?

Perhaps our ancestral seeds blow where they will and all we have is our voice,

to tell what we know, however small it may be, in whatever field we find ourself.

Sometimes, what stands out, catches our eye, ends up on a mantle or a shelf.

Alone and lonely are two separate states but sometimes they’re intertwined,

like the branches of a tree, one lonely afternoon, in a late February state of mind.

Photo taken by the author in a nearby nature park.

7 thoughts on “Feb 1 – The Mixed Messages of February

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