PrimrosesGreetings – and very best wishes to you for a truly inspiring and positive celebration of the start of spring! No, not the meteorological beginning to the season, or the official date you will find on the calendar but the time each year which roughly corresponds with what is taking place in the natural world. Take a look outside your door or window – regardless of whether you have snow or frost at present… beneath it all, life is stirring!

Yesterday we went out into the fields and climbed to the top of Caerengan where we gloried in the bleak scene of bleached, lifeless fields and frozen, snowy mountains. As we stood surveying Winter in action, flurries of tiny snowflakes whirled around us. A little sad to leave the raw energy of the landscape, we retreated indoors to hearthside, honey cake baked in honour of the time of year and mugs of warm spiced and honeyed milk – as the Irish name for this festival implies, milk is traditional to mark the early lactating of the first sheep of the season to produce their lambs.

Here we also lit pure white candles… plaited our Brighid’s Crosses from lush green rushes which we had collected along the path home… sang songs… read prose and poetry aloud… followed a journey to Ffraid herself for guidance in this new and challenging year (see my Walking With The Goddess monthly online activities ) and sat around our big dining table to share a hot meal.

Imbolc mountainsThe old song title, ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’ was amply illustrated today. This afternoon the sun was bathing the mountains in golden light beneath a blue sky… birds were singing enthusiastically… and the tightly furled buds and catkins which I was so overjoyed to see at the beginning of January are now beginning to unfold. My snowdrops seem to have disappeared but the little wild primroses bring joy to my heart – that is if the birds will leave them alone; anyone know of a way to discourage our flying friends from tearing these little blooms to bits?

No matter what is happening in the world, the wheel of the year turns… the seasons change, sometimes so quickly that you can almost see it happening before your very eyes. We have reached the beginning of a new growing season – a time of regenerated life and birth, a period of intense stirrings and potential. We have dwelled in the shadow of Cerridwen’s Cauldron since the end of October and born witness to the return of the Sun at Midwinter, now it is time to truly step back out into the growing light. How might you like to celebrate the beginning of spring? How might you mark this singularly wonderful time of hope and new beginnings? Stay positive. Think big.

Rejoice in the fact that we can always rely on the natural world to inspire and heal us… and to be there, doing its thing, no matter what is happening in our human arena. It is constant. We are a part of it. Go out into it – regardless of the weather – and lose yourself, forget yourself…  to actually find yourself. Look around you for all the myriad signs of the warm light days and summer to come.

We are all to entering into a much brighter time – one filled with potential and hope.