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Imbolc's Promise


The first day of February is known as Imbolc (pronounced im-olk), a traditional Gaelic festival that celebrates the mid-way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. In the ancient calendar, it is considered to be the first day of spring, and looking out of my window on this final damp, cold January morning, I can see why. The early daffodils have begun to flower, as have the iris reticulata – such a welcome splash of blue against the monotone hues of late winter. The hellebores are bursting into bloom too, all shades of cream, white and pink, and the ovate, nodding heads of snowdrops are slowly unfurling beneath the camelia, itself in full bud, reminding me of that wonderful Anais Nin quote, “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

But there is little else in the garden that is chancing the vagaries of the weather. In essence, February is a time to remember the gifts that Nature bestows when we can least observe them. And despite the promise of spring, it can be a fickle month, the shortest but perhaps the hardest to endure because as the old saying goes, 'February fills the dyke, be it black or be it white' – meaning that whether it comes as snow or rain, there's bound to be a lot of precipitation. And yet, there will be a time, only a few short months away, when we will be thankful for the full dykes and reservoirs, as summer's heat dries and cracks the Earth, though in February it is hard to imagine walking barefoot on warm, silken grass.

Imbolc bestows its promise in the small things; the whiteness of the snowdrops, the fullness of the bud, the delicacy of the petal. It is a time of rejuvenation, not just of the land, but of ourselves too, when we begin to feel a new energy arising and when the ideas that we may have toyed with in the darker months of winter begin to stir and even to germinate. Imbolc is a time of promise and renewal, when we heed the call to new adventures. What is stirring you right now?


Imbolc's Promise


The land and skies awaken

Stirring us into creation

The waters of life arise within

Encouraging rejuvenation.

Earth's spirit and essence

Begins to bloom

The human family rejoices

And comes out of winter's womb.

Embrace the new year and new story

As within, so without

Choose the seeds you sow wisely

Dispel darkness and doubt.


(From The Soulistic Journey by Lorna Howarth & Genevieve Boast)

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1 comentário


Shakti Saran
Shakti Saran
06 de fev. de 2023

You have captured the 'edge of spring' beautifully and make the reader feel it's within one's grasp.

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