Today is celebrated as a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint between solstices and equinoxes. So here we are (in the Northern hemisphere) six weeks into our winter den of more inward-turning reflective time, and yet now the stirrings begin reminding us this won’t last forever.
Known by many by the Celtic name Imbolc, this day is celebrated as sacred to Brigid, and it is customary, today even as it was in ancient times to visit a holy well, ask for blessings, and leave a offering – typically a strip of cloth or ribbon. Imbolc means “in the belly” and this is the time when ewes are pregnant and lambing will begin.
At this halfway point, I know some folks are ready to be done with winter. And if you happen to be in a location that really gets wintery weather, then about this time can sprout bouts of cabin fever. Snow and ice have lost their charm, the winter layers are getting to be tiresome to pile on, and it all feels like ENOUGH.
But I don’t feel finished with my cocooning yet. Snow is falling here and I’m about to make some hot chocolate, light some candles, and crack open a new journal and capture some ideas that will want to be seeded in later weeks.
Brigid in her guise as Fire of Inspiration is a goddess of poetry. So in her honor I offer you with this haiku by one of my favorite authors, Charles de Lint:
Moonlight rides like a
ghost across the midnight snow;
its song is silence
If you were asking fire goddess Brigid for a boon in one of her aspects would it be in poetry, smithing, or healing? Are you still reaping the joys of winter, or are you eager for spring? Do tell, I’d love to hear.
I am eager for spring. Winter sometimes means sketchy roads while driving to work. It always means going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Spring means light and I need light. We have tons of windows in our home and it helps with fall and winter darkness.
Your post is quite charming. If I had snow falling, I would be praying for a late start or a snow day tomorrow.
I love Charles de Lint and he is my husband’s favorite author. Most books he gets are on his kindle, but not de Lint. Those he buys in hardcover.
Sorry about your web host, yesterday. It can be a pain.
I understand your craving of more light Sheila. I confess Spring is my favorite season with all that beautiful new light and those stunning fragile greens. But even now I’m beginning to notice a lengthening in the light, so we’re moving in the right direction. 🙂
I love Brigid at the forge; it always brings me back to my days of metal working, taking something that seems so rigid and bringing out its inner shapes.
Thanks for giving me an opportunity to reflect on that.
What a lovely way to express the magic of metal working Kate! I always wear a number of bracelets that are engraved with poetry and it often makes me think of a double Brigid blessing.
Thank you for sharing this season in this way. I feel like I hit the bottom of winter and am crawling my way up. I am just now getting my feet under my on those winter projects I want to accomplish. This is also a time I cherish to spend time with my family who are not on the run as much.
Thanks for stopping by Gretchen. I hope the rest of winter unfolds with ease and grace for you. I agree with you that one of the perks of winter is connecting with others seems easier. I’m glad you’re enjoying the additional time with your family.
Of course, as a gardener, I am eager for spring. I love forsythia and dogwood. I get to see the bulbs pushing through the ground. More than anything, spring means I get another chance to make my garden even better and to learn from the mistakes and challenges of the previous year. In the spring, my garden is a clean slate. It feels manageable and refreshed. So different from the garden fatigue I feel in August when everything is overgown and I’m tired of pulling weeds. Team Spring!
Oh dear, I’ve just come in from shoveling and now you have me thinking about gardening and spring flowers! I might have to spend a little time with the gardening catalogs tonight. But I have to say those August garden dog days seem light years away. 😉
I am antsy and ready to be done with winter…that’s for sure. I can’t wait for spring and the return of the geese and ducks and the babies that follow shortly after that!
You won’t catch me arguing about the joys of spring. And those little baby birds can capture your heart in a nanosecond. My brother lives near a river that’s home to swans and my heart almost bursts with joy when I see the little ones trailing mom.
Winter is always a mixed blessing – I love the quiet that can only be experienced on a crisp, winter evening more than just about anything. And the contrast of the snow white coverings against the dark bark of the oak trees – stunning. So beautiful that no photograph can truly capture this beauty – you simply have to be there.
The difficulty comes with the damp chills that even the warmest fire can’t seem to touch.
It is a small price to pay for this time of quiet, calm and reflection.
Thank you for the reminder.
Thank you for stopping by Nea. Winter holds so many gifts doesn’t it – but I’m with you on the not totally loving that bone-deep damp chill it can bring.