We went from this
In less than a week! Today was so beautiful and warm that even Guinea could enjoy the fresh air (bundled up, of course). She chowed down on grass and pine needles while we raked and bagged old leaves and needles. Today is Imbolc, after all! A day to prepare for the return of spring.
Imbolc is a Celtic holiday, the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. A time to honor Brigid, goddess of fire and midwifery. A time to do spring cleaning.
It is also Candlemas. Historically this is the day that the Catholic Church melts down old candles to make new, in order to carry the light through for the last bit of winter. So too is it near St. Brigit of Ireland's feast day.
I love the concept of carrying the light through the darkness. I think my children do as well... Last year I asked them to list every holiday they could think of and what it means to them. Here is what they decided upon for the winter holidays:
Michaelmas, bravery in fighting fears and dragons. Martinmas, bringing in the light to shine in the long darkness ahead and helping others. Advent- preparing the way for the Light. St. Nicholas Day, bringing joy. St. Lucia- doing good for others, a light in the dark. Solstice, hope that the darkest dark has come and light is coming. Christmas, the coming of the Light. New Year's Day, hope and light. Three Kings Day, gifts for the Light. Candlemas, keeping the light shining. Valentine's- showing others their light. St. Patrick's Day- light of gold (lol). Spring Equinix- the light is back! Easter, forgiving the darkness (wow).