Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Today is Imbolc the ancient Celtic festival marking the transition from Winter to Spring. The Celts measured their days from sunset to sunset so Imbolc is already with us if we use their way of measuring time.
The beautiful image above is another example of the work of Angela Jayne Barnett.The poem is one I used last year in a post about snowdrops,it's a lovely poem so to save you straining your eyes trying to read the words on the image here it is:)
One month is past, another is begun,
Since merry bells rung out the dying year,
And buds of rarest green began to peer,
As if impatient for a warmer sun;
And though the distant hills are bleak and dun,
The virgin snowdrop like a lambent fire,
Pierces the cold earth with its green-streaked spire
And in dark woods, the wandering little one
May find a primrose.
Yes, punctual to the time, thou 'rt here again,
As still thou art:—though frost or rain may vary,
And icicles blockade the rockbirds' aery,
Or sluggish snow lie heavy on the plain,
Yet thou, sweet child of hoary January,
Art here to harbinger the haggard train
Of vernal flowers, a duteous missionary.
Nor cold can blight, nor fog thy pureness stain.
Beneath the dripping eaves, or on the slope
Of cottage garden, whether mark'd or no,
Thy meek head bends in undistinguish'd row.
Blessings upon thee, gentle bud of hope !
And Nature bless the spot where thou dost grow—
Young life emerging from thy kindred snow!
It's true as Coleridge says that there are snowdrops to be found in January but really they are the iconic flower of February. They are the harbingers of Spring and their gentle presence assures us that soon the warmth of the sun will soon strengthen and new life will be blossoming forth wherever we look. The weather in February can be cold, wet and frequently snowy too but it's a short month and soon the full beauty of Spring will be with us.