Thoughts on a Frigid Imbolc

Today is the pagan feast of Imbolc. The traditions have lived on, in all places, in the tradition of Groundhog’s day. It was believed that the Celtic crone-deity Cailleach gathered the last of her firewood for winter on this day, so if she knew that winter was to last a while longer, she would make the day bright and sunny so she could gather plenty of wood. I guess a groundhog looks a little like an old woman, and if she could see her shadow, that means it’s sunny out.

Well, it’s gray. And cold. And they’re forecasting freezing rain for the afternoon, evening, and into tomorrow. Cailleach would not want to get out of her warm bed, let alone venture out and do manual labor. So I suppose that means the promise of spring will be fulfilled sooner rather than later.
In my little corner of the world, February is when the dawn starts coming noticeably sooner, when the threat of ice and snow begin to wane, and when the temperatures begin to rise, just a little bit. It is the time when I start venturing out earlier in the mornings to go for my run, or even sneak out of my office for a half hour during the day to walk in the open air. It’s a month of warming, of the beginnings of foods starting to come back to the table. The hens will start laying more; the sheep and goats will give birth and the milk starts flowing.
Tonight, I shall make a meal of pancakes with sheep’s milk cheese and honey, with a side of hardy greens and garlic, to remind us that, though winter may be deep, spring is always promised to us at the end.
{an aside: I have launched a new site, Wellness the Wild Woman Way, where I plan to share more article-like thoughts on specific health and wellness topics. I hope you stop by and say hi.}

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