As the world wakes up from Winter’s slumber,
she starts to shake the sodden snow that lies
heavy on her cloak of gray and umber.
After the long months of silence, she sighs
a slow breath of warmth into the crisp air;
and time, that has hung suspended and numb,
begins again to find its soft rhythm
and heralds new Spring on its muffled drum.
Deep in her fetid womb, where life has formed
in silence through the dark and bitter days,
a season’s promises ache to be born
and feel again the nearing sun’s bright rays.
Relax and slowly breathe, she says, the wait
is nearly at an end; the world will wake.
Stretch out your tired limbs! Don’t hesitate!
The cracked and brittle Winter’s bones will break.
Rejoice, rejoice! The world is waking
Winter’s hold is slowly breaking;
See him old, infirm and shaking
as new Spring is in the making
Rejoice, rejoice, the Spring is nearing
Winter’s fleece is set for shearing
Share the sound of life you’re hearing
Green and wild, in every clearing
Rejoice, rejoice, the Spring will come
its heartbeat pounding like a drum!
Begone, the cold that stings and numbs,
and to the sun we bid welcome!
01 FEB 2005
In our house, we refer to February 1st (Candlemas, Imbolc, Oimlec, etc.) as the Festival of the Seeds. It is the day when spring first begins, when the world initially begins its thaw after the long months of winter, and when the birds and insects begin their annual return to the world as it wakes from its hibernation and starts the process of germination and rebirth. In the old way of reckoning the seasons, spring began on February first and ended on May first, with March 21 (the vernal equinox) being the midpoint of the spring season rather than its beginning.
As the earth begins its slow return, shifts
beneath its heavy cloak of dreamless sleep
and starts to awaken, a dull weight lifts
from the air; and where they are buried deep
and secret in the bosom of the soil,
those tiny remnants of the season past
shake loose from their hibernating still coil
and with new green tendrils of growth, break fast.
Winter’s night at last has released the dawn;
and the essence of life is newborn,
its subtle fragrance seeping through each pore
like a light, fine perfume that lingers on
the morning breeze and grows strong, its scent warmed
by the waxing sunlight of spring once more.
02 FEB 2003