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Imbolg also known as Candlemas – Feb 2nd
As I wonder along the quiet country lane on a crisp winter’s morning, a smile begins to spread across my face. A bright beam of sunlight strikes the hedgerow awakening the sleepy flora and fauna and I know the darkness of winter is behind us.
It’s December now, mid-winter and the landscape has been stripped bare. Standing shy and naked it’s vulnerability masking the powerful forces of Nature that lie within.
I am out collecting pine cones to help kindle my log fire and as I bend to fill my basket the heady scent of the tree reminds me of all things Yule. Winter Solstice will soon be here heralding the return of the Sun as minute by minute, each day, the Light returns and with it hope for all things.
Holly bushes bear their fruit of bright red berries and the birds are feasting well. Mistletoe hangs heavily high up in the branches of the apple trees waiting to catch a kiss and I smile at the merriment of the season to come.
Log burner lit and slippers ready warming, I put on my coat and step out into the fading light of a November afternoon. The cold air bites my nose and I pull my hat down further over my ears and head off up the lane. The days have been bright with winter sunshine, but the blue of the sky has somehow lost its vibrancy giving way to more sleepy, muted tones with a touch of greyness about them. But, at this time of day, Sunset, the skies are aglow with the fiery palettes of burnt oranges, deep soulful amber and blood reds.
I wend my way along the lane and turn toward the woods where I am met with a veil of tumbling brambles hung from the hedgerow like the dripping architecture of a gothic cathedral.
In an instant I am cocooned in a swirl of leaves blown from their branches and whipped into an encircling frenzy by the wind. I struggle to pull my collar up, tuck my scarf in and hold on to my hat. What a Blessing to be surrounded by such colour, such energy and yet in all the warmth of the shedding colours of Autumn, I feel the chill of Winter.
August, the month of holidays and harvest, a time to sit back, rest and relax and enjoy the fruits of our labours. A time for friends and families to be together, to re-connect, a time to laugh and play and enjoy each other and all that we have. A time for quiet contemplation and thankfulness. Something moves in my garden pond and a frog appears to rest upon a lily pad, his throat pulsing like a beating heart, such is the rhythm of life.
Butterflies, bees and dragonflies hover and flutter between the flowers, drinking deeply from the funnels of nectar laden petals. I watch this spectacle unfold before me, an interwoven symphony of dance and psychedelic colour, there for the taking and a pure joy to behold.
Reclining lazily upon my sunbed drifting in and out of a relaxing daydream I am disturbed by the low drone of approaching bees; thousands of them grouped together in a tight black cloud that hovers and then hangs below the branch of a tree. I sit myself up and stare in awe at the sight before me, half afraid to move and yet transfixed at the same time. The swarm swirls and sways suddenly, the shape changing to an arrow head as if leading the way and slowly as if being sucked by a vacuum, they drift away and are gone....