Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy Brigit (or Imbolc - your call)

I have to confess that of all the solar  holidays, I am the biggest slacker at observing this one.  Maybe because this cross-quarter is so very, well, in-between. Now when I lived in California, there was always the chance that the fruit trees would start thinking about flowers around this time (It usually ended badly for them if they did though; false spring can be deadly when followed by a late frost). Here in New York, however, we've just had the biggest snow drop of the year so far.  Beginning of spring?  Hardly.  I know that a primary image for Brigit is the well, but our waters here are pretty much frozen solid, and flow mainly down the icicles hanging from our neighbors houses.

So when we look at it from a purely natural-world perspective in the North East, Imbolc is not about spring at all.  It is right in the middle of winter.  It is around the time when folks START saying "enough with the cold and grey" but quite some time before crocuses and cherry blossoms. Winter stores of root vegetables are getting old, and most of last fall's apples are spotty and nasty by now. There's no planting of seeds in this frozen ground. So all we're left with is the seed catalog- time to start planning and preparing because sometime, some day the ground will thaw.

It's time for candles, for soup, for baking things in the oven, but how is that different from the winter solstice? Is it just that extra hour of sunlight each day?  The glimmer of hope that winter is more behind us than in front of us? How will I celebrate this most in-between of holidays?  Bake a loaf of bread, light a candle, and crawl back in my hole for 6 more weeks of winter.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Well, Happy Imbolc to you however you celebrate it!