A Gradual Wakening to Spring

| 2/3/2016 9:43:00 AM

Black squirrel staying well-fed

This past week a friend asked me about a meme I re-posted on Facebook. The image included was a lovely painting of an earthly maiden wakening beneath the surface of the ground. The words proclaimed there were only a few days left until Imbolc—a Celtic celebration of the very first stirrings of springtime. My friend wanted to know more.

I gave her a short-versioned response. She was able to Google for more and found varied and plentiful information. What the Wheel of the Year (a sort of calendar for earth-loving folk) gives to me are sweet reminders of what I love about each part of the year.

Imbolc, at the beginning of February, marks the halfway point between winter and spring. In places with distinct seasons, this is the time we start shifting toward full-on growth—the first bulbs start to emerge, mammal bodies prepare for imminent birthing, and robins reappear.

My own imagination runs wild. I love the idea of there being so much unseen activity just beyond our reach. Seeds and bulbs beneath the soil snake to the surface, an adventurous nuzzle upward to test the air temperatures. Sap inside trees begins to return to the tips of branches, fueling flower and leaf buds. It’s easy for me to imagine fairies and earth maidens nurturing this life behind the scenes that we humings normally see. Just envisioning such changes makes me smile with anticipation.

In my physically real world, my gardening room starts bustling with plans for the coming year outdoors. I print my seed-starter sheets so that I can track germination and potting on dates. I gather other supplies, ready my seed trays and soil, and separate my seed packets in order of planting times. These activities serve to direct my excitement and energize me while helping to slowly move me away from the arting I’ve been doing during the late fall and winter.

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