Essay — Of Spring and Hearts

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The month of February arrived with two important days. Yesterday was National Wear Red Day, and today is National Groundhog Day.

Image courtesy Lokilech via Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy Lokilech via Wikimedia Commons

National Wear Red Day calls attention to the fact that heart disease still kills a larger number of women than all cancers combined. Unfortunately, I didn’t wear anything red yesterday, mainly because that color is in short supply in my closet.

But since the whole month of February is American Heart month, I still have time to buy something red and join the national “Million Hearts” initiative. The idea behind the program is to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. And the best way to do that is to learn how to take care of your heart.

I’ve studied the information and plan to get busy as soon as I’ve finished celebrating the other important day on the February calendar: National Groundhog Day.

This popular tradition falls halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, comes from a variety of cultures, has had many different names, and dates back to a distant past when nature and animals were often better than people at weather prediction.

Anyway, at 7:20 this morning, America’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, ventured from his burrow to check the sky, and, Hooray! He issued a spring forecast.

Since Phil and his Pennsylvania ancestors have held the job for 127 years, and the experts insist he’s hardly ever wrong, I’d like to say, “Thank you, Phil. You’ve made my day!”

Now I’m running to the store to buy a pair of red sneakers and do something good for my heart.

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