Daily Archives: February 2, 2003

Festival of the Seeds

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

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There are some that say a routine is stale,
a repetition of empty action
that mimics true motion, one that pales
when compared to the instant reaction

of the soul to each moment as it comes,
fleeting and ephemeral as faint scent
on a night breeze. True, some often succumb,
wishing to distill a sacred event

into a formula that, like a false
panacea, loses it potency
so quickly, leaving only a shadow.
But routine awareness is like a waltz;

knowing the steps does not ever mean
forgetting you are dancing; even though
you have heard the same song a thousand times,
it does not grow tired or seem obscure;

and well-worn verses with familiar rhymes
when held in the mouth like an old Latour
are reinterpreted with each new taste,
their meanings deepened with each fresh use.

While to merely cite by rote is to waste
the mind’s energy, to simply refuse
any framework, seeking only chaos
without the borders that define it, too,

lessens the scope of one’s experience.
But a good ritual’s effect is lost
unless its spirit fills each thing you do,
the sole proof of which is self-evidence.

02 FEB 2003

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