Sunday, January 30, 2011
I thought that as a farmer, I was pretty well tuned in to seasons of the old agrarian calendar. Life off-grid has taken me deeper into what I imagine the "old ways" were really like. I felt a little of the burdens of Winter ease away on December 21st, Winter Solstice, as it meant the shortest days would be behind me. This past week there's been more daylight later into early evening to do chores by. We even had two sunny days in a row. Well, one mostly sunny, one partly sunny. As we approach the end of January, I'm looking forward to February 2nd, Ground Hog Day, or Imbolc. Imbolc is a "festival of candles and light". Some traditions honor the Celtic goddess Brighid, guardian of hearth and home. Whether February 2nd is Ground Hog Day or Imbolc for you, it marks the half-way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, this year March 20th. I feel some far off distant knowing that Winter Solstice and upcoming Imbolc, were little milestones of achievement to our ancestors as I've recently discovered they are now to me. While being off-grid has left me feeling more vulnerable to the elements, I also feel more deeply connected, like I've got my ear to the chest of Earth, rising and falling with every breath and thumping of it's heart. Still, I'll shed more of my Winter worries on February 2nd as I would imagine those who were before us did.