Something to celebrate right now!
"What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day
was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?"
- Phil, Groundhog Day
It's the end of January, and I can't believe we made it through another month in lockdown, AND it seems like it went fast at the same time. It reminded me of when my kids were young. The days would feel like an eternity, and then suddenly, we were celebrating another birthday.
It’s been hard to keep track of days during this lockdown we are in. We often joke that all the days are blurring together, and there isn’t much to differentiate one from another. Without our regular ways of coming together with family and friends, it can be isolating.
Maybe that is why I’ve been looking forward to the beginning of February and thinking more about the seasons and how they can support us right now. February 1st is a big one!
There are several sacred and secular days associated with the beginning of February. Imbolc, St. Bridgid’s Day, Celebration of Brigid, Candlemas and of course, Groundhog Day (yes, I know we all feel a little like Bill Murray right now.) It’s always fascinating to read some of these celebrations' history, and I hope you will. You can start here.
February 1st is midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. ‘Imbolc’ means ‘in the belly’ and traditionally marks the first stirrings of Spring. I have read it was the time when the sheep were beginning to lactate in preparation for birth.
Even though the ground is covered in snow, as I write this, I like to think that deep in the earth, life is readying to emerge before we see evidence of it.
For me, February 1st feels like a marker that I’m halfway to Spring. It gives me hope that winter will end. Like so many of the Celtic practices I have grown to love, it reinforces the cycles and rhythms of life. So many of our traditions and plans have been disrupted this year. The rotation of the earth and the cycles of the seasons remain. And that’s something that gives me hope.
Even if it feels like you will ever get through this season, you will. I'll be lighting a candle on February 1st. I may pick up some fresh tulips to have on my desk. I will appreciate the lengthening days. I may even check and see if Wiarton Willy sees his shadow, although to be honest, I can never remember what it means!