Imbolc was earlier this week. It’s the halfway point between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox–more often known as Groundhog’s Day, though it’s also called St. Brigid’s day. It’s supposed to mark the time the ewes begin to lactate before they lamb, and a general beginning of spring. St. Brigid–or the old goddess Brigid, if you prefer, which I do–is said to visit at this time, and if you leave a bed made up for her and something for her to eat, she’ll bless your house for the year to come.
We celebrated by making preparations for the growing season: clearing out lots of blackberry brambles, Scotch broom, crack willow, and hawthorn seedlings. When we first moved here we rolled our eyes a bit at the land’s apparent neglect by its previous owners…but after a year of watching things grow, we became more sympathetic. There is no dormant season here.