Friday, March 18, 2022

Friday Ramble Before the Vernal Equinox (Ostara)

The day after tomorrow marks the Vernal Equinox or Ostara, one of two times in the calendar year (the other being the Autumn Equinox or Mabon) when the Earth and her unruly children hover in perfect balance for a brief interval. Humans had nothing to do with this day - it is a pivotal astronomic point ordained by the heavens, by the natural order of things in this magnificent cosmos where we live out our days, spinning like tops in the Great Round of space and time.

If I lived further south, Sunday might be a day of greening and enchantment, a day when Eostre, the old Teutonic goddess of greening and fertility, wanders wild places with her arms full of spring blooms, bestowing blessings on everything she sees. Flowers would spring up in her footsteps as she passed, and she would be attended by hares, her special animal. The air would be filled with birdsong, with homecoming geese and the heady fragrance of rich dark earth and wild springtime herbs. 

Alas, the only snowdrops blooming here at the moment are those in a jar in my study. There is still a lot of snow about, and it will be a few weeks until the delicate flowers show up in the landscape, each and every one a small miracle. It has been a long winter this time around, and Eostre can't show up too soon for me. Our winter birds feel the same. Every feathered visitor to the still sleeping garden seems to be declaring its lofty status as a messenger from the sacred, a harbinger of abundance and new life.

While I was outside yesterday morning shoveling snow, the first skein of returning Canada geese flew overhead, honking their pleasure at being home again. I put down my shovel and danced for joy, and the neighbors must have thought I was off my nut. At nightfall, Beau and I went outside into the garden for a few minutes, and as we shivered in the star spangled darkness, it seemed to us that this month's waxing moon resembles a great cosmic egg - a perfect expression of this turning of the wheel with its verdant motifs of warmth, light and new life coming into being.

There is blooming in our thoughts for sure, but it is still too cold here for outdoor celebrations. Beau and I will spend time outside in the garden on Sunday evening, and we will light a votive candle on the deck if the north wind permits it, but our festivities are indoors for the most part. There is room for everyone at our hearth and there are enough mugs, plates and comfortable chairs to go around. Welcome, and come ye in!

No comments: