Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Groundhog Day Redeux

It's overcast here. Punxsutawney Phil would not have seen his shadow today, and we would have delighted in the prospect of an early spring.  Yesterday, however, we got some sun, and apparently, so did the groundhog in Pennsylvania, portending more chill.

The 1993 Bill Murray film "Groundhog Day" is one of my all-time faves, because  of its novelty and its message.  Murray plays Phil Collins, a narcissistic TV announcer sent with his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) to cover the official result of the animal's appearance. Stuck in town due to a blizzard, Phil finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over until he gets it right.  Even suicide attempts fail as he again awakens in his hotel bed to the strains of Cher singing "I Got You, Babe" on the clock-radio.

During the course of the film, Phil transforms from self-centered to altruistic, from viewing time as his own to seeing his place on earth filled with possibilities.  In the most miserable of weather, in the most mundane of locations, Phil realizes that the six weeks of winter the rodent portended was his means of emerging from hibernation into the sunshine of experience.

I often wish I could repeat days and get them right.  When, like today, a gray sheet of damp, dismal clouds encloses my view, I have to force myself toward gratitude and accomplishment.  Sunny days, on the other hand, energize and uplift me, pulling me outside in exuberance.

So I wasn't thrilled when I heard that we're in for a typical winter, six more weeks of dreary chill.  Time for some attitude revision on my part.  It may be Groundhog Day, but it's also a new opportunity, if I just step out of my narcissistic stupor.

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