Part of the work I’m committed to in my role as an educator is helping my students write stories that map the vast terrain of expression in the quest for justice, citizenship, green issues, and moral responsibility to the planet.
That said, my aim now, is simply to manage a month that is fraught with universal contradictions: Black History celebrations and Dead President’s birthdays (a badass movie too!)
Then there’s Mardis Gras, Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, and something called Bissextile Day—the latter mention having more to do with Leap year mathematics than sex!
At this month’s New Moon, Feb. 8th, we can begin to pot the spring bulbs that we’ve kept in cold storage. (Think tulips and daffodils.) Also according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, February is the perfect month to sow dill with your cucumber plants and to start preparing seeds for cabbages and radishes, the earliest crops that you can plant and harvest in the spring.
Still early into the month’s unfolding, I’m planning to forge ahead with harmonized courage, especially when navigating a world that doesn’t always feel “saveable” as Alice Walker reminds us in her collection, Anything We Love Can Be Saved. With the arrival of the Full Snow Moon on Feb. 22nd, legend, and the Almanac tell us: “If February gives much snow, a fine summer it doth foreshadow.” Mmhmm…okay.
In response, our beloved sage, Walker, contends, “What can I give you for comfort on those bleak days to come—and they will…I can give you this poem,” While Love is Unfashionable.
While Love is Unfashionable
Let us live
Seeing the world
A complex ball
In small hands.
Love is our blackest garment.
Let us be poor
In all but truth, and courage
By the old spirits.