The Promise of Spring – Imbolc

Spring Crocus

Last night it rained. In the morning, there was a scent in the air that took a moment or two for me to place… Then suddenly I remembered; it is the smell of soil waking up, coming alive after its long sleep.  It is the smell of spring.

Go outside and sniff the air in early February. Grab a handful of soil and hold it up to your nose. Do you smell it? Or just stop and listen. Perhaps you can hear the gentle whispers? Mama Earth is beginning to stir.

All winter, Earth has quietly held the seeds of spring in her soil body; she has coddled them and kept them safe, waiting for the time to sprout. And now spring is almost here and the seeds are stirring, preparing to crack open and grow new life.

The chickadees know spring is on its way; they whistle to each other from every treetop in my neighborhood. My dog knows; she sniffs at the soil with new interest. And the sheep know; they birth their lambs in February, knowing spring will soon arrive.

My Celtic ancestors celebrated Imbolc at the time of lamb birthing. It was their way of honoring the end of winter and the promise of life returning to the land. The early Catholics changed the name of Imbolc to Candlemas. And modern man morphed Imbolc into Groundhog Day. By any name, this time is about honoring the promise of spring.

It has been snowing and snowing here, even more than usual for northern Colorado. And I had begun to worry that winter might decide to never end. But then, on a cold, wet day in February, I suddenly hear the whispers of Mama Earth, and I get a whiff of her soil coming alive. And it feels like I just received a message from a long lost lover. The spring I crave is on its way back to me.

Seeding Winter Solstice

Mount Sanitas in Winter

On Winter Solstice, we officially enter into Seed Time in the northern hemisphere.

Winter is the time in Mama Earth’s cycle when she becomes still and appears to be lifeless. But beneath the surface, our earthy mother is very much alive; she is quietly gestating  seeds for the new year, loving and holding them safe in the dark. This time of holding in the dark ensures that when spring arrives, the new seeds will be ready to sprout and grow.

What is yearning to come into your life now?

How does the Universe want each of us to sprout and grow in the coming year?

Let’s get still and listen in the darkness…

☾ ☽

“Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness.”
~Julia Cameron