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