It is St. Briget’s Day and though it is not astronomically the first day of Spring, it seems like many folks are putting behind them the dark, cold days of winter and turning towards lighter and warmer days. Pagans celebrate this day with a feast called Imbolc, honoring the goddess Briget while some Christians have folded this celebration into their belief system by commemorating an Irish nun, also named Briget, as a saint. On Sunday, the church also will commemorate Jesus’ presentation at the temple. Historically, many of the devoted have brought their candles to church on this day for a blessing (Candlemas), a symbolic linking to the belief that Jesus is the Light of the World.
Let’s not forget that tomorrow many in North America will observe Groundhog Day, a weather-forecasting tradition brought to the new world by German immigrants. If a groundhog sees his shadow on this day, then there will be six-more weeks of inclement weather.
It seems that these celebrations, commemorations, and observations focus on themes of light and the turning of time, and this integration of themes has resulted in February 1, 2 and 3 becoming the unofficial start of Spring. It seems like we can’t help ourselves but to look forward to longer and warmer days.
I myself can see the sun rising higher in the sky each day and its rays beginning to creep across my yard. That being the case, I had better get to work in the garden and start planting some lettuce and beets.
ljgloyd c 2020