It’s beginning to feel like winter may be ending. Imbolc will soon be here.
We’ve had a few warm days – unseasonably warm – and I’m starting to see the first signs of new growth in the world. The sheep are looking very heavy, and lambs will be here in a month or so. The depths of winter are passing, and the first warmth in the weak sun is starting to be felt again.
I’m not a winter person. I was born in Australia – in Adelaide, where temperatures commonly get well above 40C (above 100F) in summer – and heat is what I know and enjoy. But now I live in the south of New Zealand, and it can get bitterly cold here in midwinter. This cold, icy part of the year seems to stretch endlessly, and summers seem way too short.
I’m still deciding what I will do for Imbolc. In Australia it never really connected with me, mainly because the hot seasons approached way too fast for there to be any real need to welcome in the warmth. But here in New Zealand, I’m starting to appreciate this delicate, beautiful, fresh Sabbat for the first time.
I’m beginning to understand the real importance that the return of heat and warmth had for our ancestors who would have struggled against the cold and against starvation. I’m starting to learn how vital the signs on new life in our animals were – and are – for the continuation of our own lives.
This year I’ll probably celebrate Imbolc alone, or maybe with a small group of friends. I won’t be doing a big public gathering, that’s certain. I’ll look at the rites I’ve done in the past, and post those, but I’m now feeling tempted to create a new one.
Whatever I decide, I’ll let you know. But what is certain, Imbolc is on it’s way. The world is warming again. And for that, we should be thankful.