Christmas celebrations and New Year resolutions are now far behind us.  Some of us have already forgotten what the resolutions were (that is if we made any) while others are going strong with them and seeing changes in their lives little by little.

Time moves on quickly and we are now into February.  A month that marks such things as national toothache day on the 9th, thinking day on the 22nd,, Valentine’s day on the 14th and, ironically, national singles day on the 15th !

Alongside these there is also Shrove Tuesday on the 28th when many of us enjoy pancakes and at the start of the month there is Candlemas on the 2nd.

Candlemas day is the official end of the Christmas season.  It is also known as Groundhog Day.  You may have seen the film starring Bill Murray, where a TV weatherman is forced to relive the same day, February 2nd, over and over again.

Whilst this may be Hollywood’s take on Groundhog day, there are other countries and cultures who say that if the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks’ nap, but if the day is cloudy he remains out, as the weather will  be moderate.  There are a lot of if’s in that sentence, some promising more of the same while others hope for better things to come.

Hope is important to us. We all need something to look forward to. It might be the early flowers appearing, family celebrations, holidays or new opportunities,   One of the earlysnowdrops signs of spring is the appearance of Snowdrops which are also known as Candlemas Bells.  A friend of mine always likes the first appearance of Snowdrops as they remind her that she is still alive!

The writer of proverbs in the Bible declared that ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life’ (Prov. 13:12). Hope motivates and challenges us that things can change and a hope fulfilled brings fresh energy to us. So forget those broken resolutions and start again.

                                                                           Revd Elaine Brightwell