“In the depth of winter, I finally learnt that there was in me an invincible summer”Albert Camus
In mid-winter, these darker days can feel never-ending. But nature, as ever, reminds us that nothing is permanent. Today is a hopeful turning point in the Celtic calendar: Imbolc. It falls on 1st February, marking the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox (ie. the shortest day of the year and when night and daylight hours are of equal length).
Lighting a fire has traditionally been important among Pagans to honour Imbolc, and in the Christian calendar, this day was renamed ‘Candlemas’, marked by the lighting of candles.
Imbolc celebrations date back to the pre-Christian era in the British Isles, with the earliest mentions found in Irish literature during the 10th century. It’s traditionally aligned with the first day of spring and the idea of rebirth.
As we see the first bulb shoots beginning to emerge, and start to plant trees and sow seeds, we celebrate these whispers of warmer weather to come and the hopeful thoughts of Spring.
So today why not allow yourself to tap into the energy of the earth beneath your feet, let go of the past and embrace the present, making space for new beginnings in your life? It’s a time to breathe deeply and feel your body and mind slowly emerging from hibernation.
If you can, take a little time out today to have a slow, meditative walk among the quietly dormant trees in your local community orchard, enjoying the light of the sun and the crisp winter air (and if it’s raining, embrace that too!)