Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Imbolc (fire in the belly)

2 weeks ago I stepped outside after a rainfall and heard noises reminiscent of a rain forest. No less than 150 blackbirds, robins and sparrows covered the yards on our block. All of them chirping, tweeting, trilling and any other noise a bird makes as they scoured for bugs and seeds.

2 days ago I heard the panicked scramblings of some rodent trying to escape or chase something under my kitchen cabinets. If it was escaping a snake, that's a fabulous sign that winter is ending and a scary tale of what's living under my house!

Today, Emagene and I spent time staring at all the daffodil and jonquil sprouts in our front yard.

Spring has sprung!

All that's waiting is the groundhogs affirmation and a sign from the Irish goddess, Brigid.

According to tradition, Brigid ('Breed') visits at Imbolc and brings blessings of fertility, creativity and knowledge, among other things. She is the power behind our desire to Spring Clean the gunk of the past (winter) out of our homes, selves and lives, bringing the light at the end of our cabin-fever-driven boredom/madness. She brings the lambs (Imbolc has been said to come from the Irish word 'oimelc' meaning 'ewe's milk' in reference to the birthing of lambs), poetry, and fresh starts. A cleansing of the home and hearth.

My favorite story that coincides with this point of seasonal transition is of Cailleach, the hag of winter. Should Imbolc be sunny and bright, she is out collecting firewood for the rest of winter. Should the day be gray, cold or stormy, she is sleeping for winter is about to end. Much easier for me to remember than how to interpret a groundhog's reaction to his shadow. Though if you see a snake or badger running around, you should know that means its getting pretty warm in their dens!

Anyway- This week we will be cleaning and looking for a new rental house, designing our garden plots and preparing to get our first chickens, we may even have a dance party in our living room and leave the garments we spent the winter in out on the lawn for Brigid to bless. Who knows?! I'm just going to see what the season has in store!

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