Friday, March 17, 2023

Friday Ramble Before Ostara

Next Monday 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's 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, Monday might be a time 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. 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, the heady fragrance of rich dark earth and wild springtime herbs.

Alas, the only snowdrops blooming here at the moment are in a glass jar in my study. It will be several weeks until Lady Spring makes an appearance in the northern landscape, but rumors of her imminent presence and the arrival of the greening season persist. 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 and are proclaiming their craving for warmth and light. Every feathered visitor to our sleeping garden seems to be declaring its lofty status as a messenger from the sacred, a harbinger of abundance and new life.

Early this morning, Beau and I went outside into the garden for a few minutes, and a cold going it was. As we shivered in the star spangled darkness and looked up, it seemed to us that March's full moon (now a waning scrap) bears more than a passing resemblance to 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 will be blooming in our thoughts on Monday, but it will be too cold for outdoor celebrations, and it will be very dark - the moon will be only a day past new on Tuesday. We will spend a few minutes outside looking at the stars, and perhaps we will light a celebratory candle on the deck, but the festivities will be indoors for the most part.  All are welcome at the table, and there are enough chairs and mugs to go around. See you there.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Irish or not! 


Gill said...


Belle said...

That welcoming table image is so strong and beautiful.

Thank you, as always :)