Today in the northern hemisphere we are halfway between the winter and spring equinox. In ancient Gaelic times this event was celebrated to mark the end of winter’s grip and the impending joys of spring. It’s a forward thinking very optimistic day indeed!
The root for the word, imbolc, harkens to pregnant ewes who will delivering their lambs soon. To celebrate properly then a little sheep’s milk cheese is offered, greens are collected (as available) and white candles are made ready.
Take a walk today out in some natural setting (a park, preserve, open field, woodsy nature trail, your back yard – wherever) and see who’s up and out on this fine St. Brigid’s Day (another name for it – honoring the Celtic Goddess of smithcraft, poetry and healing). If you’re a true urban dweller you may find that if there’s a zoo the animals kept there might be showing some signs of being more active. Too, the more common pigeons, tats and dog park attendees might also be showing subtle signs of being ready to turn the corner on this winter season. Take a wander and see what you think.
Let’s do the Imbolc Feast!
- Make a salad, baby greens will be most appropriate with toppings of young veggies – whatever you can snag. If you’re lucky enough to live near a cleaning running stream go see if there’s any wild watercress nestled near it to toss on top of your salad. If you’re in the city go to that fancy food store where they tuck in the mini baby vegetables and splurge for some to go with your feast. I’m jealous.
- Have some sheep’s milk cheese. Natural markets carry such stuff – but you know what? Goat’s milk cheese if almost as appropriate – so feta it is!
- Light some white candles. Dinky votives, tall pillars. Doesn’t matter. You’re lighting your shining knowledge that spring is coming — it’s inevitable now. We’re on the downward easy-street slide to it. Finally. Yay!
I’m also going to add seeds (hope) and nuts (ditto) to my salad in honor of all the woodland creatures out there who are making it through the winter on their nut-saving guile. You know what? I’m also going to prepare a little feast for the squirrels and birds today in honor of all of this hope:
- diced apples
- sunflower seeds
….I’m going to put it out where my dogs won’t bother them and cheer them on as they discover this unexpected windfall.