Plot Thickeners—Love & Loss
February is most likely named for the Roman festival, Februa. This purification ritual lives on in modern times. Have you ever involved yourself with Spring cleaning? This rite of cleaning (or purifying) the things we overlook the rest of the year seems like it was more frequent than once yearly in my childhood home, so perhaps it’s a misnomer for some.
The Roman poet, Ovid, contended that the name, ultimately, came from the Etruscan word for “purging”. Additionally, it was the last month of the Roman calendar for a time. Regardless of February’s true etymology, it is clear that February has its roots in the purge that follows periods of indulgence. Some bemoan the neglect that necessitates purification in the first place while others adhere to the ritual with zeal.
And, of course, there is Valentine’s Day. A time for celebrating your romantic love interest with gifts and undivided attention. Or there is Single’s Awareness Day (S.A.D.) the day after that. Or if you’re not the sentimental type, many a culture looks at February as a time when the snow is melting and yielding not flowers but mud and ice and frost. This issue of Plot Thickeners takes a cold, hard look at Love & Loss.