Today is a special day, what is known as a cross-quarter day on the solar calendar, as February 2nd marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It sounds promising, does it not? This day was marked by the ancient Irish as Imbolc, also known as St. Brigid’s Day, and later by the Christians as Candlemas, so the day holds a special place in many traditions.
So the skies rumbled and the snows came,
And everywhere down through the centuries of this gray night,
Came women gathering to pray,
And to sink their hands into the dark earth.
They gathered seeds and prepared them for planting,
They meditated in the icy darkness,
And they celebrated the lambing of the first ewe,
To hasten Spring.
And when through the earth they felt the stirring,
They sang songs encouraging the tiny seeds to grow.
In the dark, wet soil you can smell their work still;
They are digging along beside us,
The north wind carries their song across the snow,
This Imbolc night.
As the earth prepares for Spring,
Wise women gather in circles to await the promise of new life,
And to sing praises for the green earth.
And so do we, here now,
This year and every year.
On a more mundane level we watched today to see if a groundhog would view his shadow on this day, forecasting a full six more weeks of winter. I think we pretty much knew how that would turn out. Interestingly, in previous centuries folks were pondering, at this time of year, about who might be coming out of hibernation, and, I must confess, I found myself wondering this last week if local rattlesnakes have begun to emerge yet or not. I think with the recent snows they will be largely discouraged.
I also noticed that as I’ve been walking the dogs in the rain I’ve been very replenished by the sheer sight of the yellow crocuses popping up next to the sidewalk in front of my neighbor’s house (I say hello to them every morning accompanied by a big smile) and by the tulips emerging from pots on my front steps. I took my camera (yes, the 35 mm, don’t laugh) out to seek further signs of life pushing itself out into the open in spite of snow and rain and cold and darkness. Life will not be held back, my friends. Not at all.
Precious little daffodils. I can hardly wait to see their happy yellow faces!
Speaking of which I think it’s a fine time to let you know that I’ve decided to go ahead independently with the publishing of my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden this year. The imprint has been decided. It is Estrella Catarina. Please stay tuned for further details as they emerge.
Life abounds, life abounds, life abounds. Enjoy!
Love and blessings,
Posted on February 2nd, 2008 by Kathryn
Filed under: Planet Earth