We have new life in our garden! Two dwarf pear trees. Receiving and potting them felt a fine way to welcome the first weekend of real spring weather, and a lovely activity for experiencing all the elements. There’s such hope present in the act of planting something. Hope for our plants as they grow, blossom, fruit, birth and rest as the year turns. Hope in my heart for that cycle mirrored in other projects and plans of mine; my inner seedlings.
Yesterday I fed our blueberries a dressing of ericaceous compost, and we’ve put manure down elsewhere. Now feels like a receiving time for my awakening garden. The earth receives these nutrients – as well as the seeds that we are starting to plant. Unfolding leaf-buds and flowers seem to reach to the sky to gulp in sun and rain; I guess this part of the year is like breakfast-time for nature. Mind you, it’s more around lunchtime that we have the birds swoop down to peck at the ground and our bird table. For a garden that never got any avian visitors when we moved in just under two years ago, it’s a treat to now have almost half a dozen species drop by most days. ♥
When I think about the nearly-thirty-one years of seasons that I’ve experienced, Spring often seems to creep in slowest of the seasons; the others have a firmer arrival. This is what my memory tells me. (Yes, keeping a journal would have provided a more accurate record but it’s a little beyond me to apply such logic to my life!) Spring’s first steps onstage – the gradually longer days, the fragile snowdrops and crocuses – are so hushed and timid. These steps are slow and when the weather yo-yos between wintry and spring-like it’s as if those baby-steps retreat back to the wings before tiptoeing out again, maybe this time a shade further. It’s as if this season tries to be all inconspicuous as she comes out. Yet we the audience sit eagerly waiting, pointing these signs out to each other, shining the spotlight and cheering happily. Towards the end of Spring’s show – when colour smiles all around, the sun is strong, the air is warm and abundant blossoms everywhere froth with the confidence of a perfectly-made cappuccino – then fanfare and applause can almost be heard on the breeze.
As a parallel, my Imbolg celebrations tend to be more drawn out too. I’ve written before of how I tend to celebrate the cross-quarter festivals as a “tide” over a lunar month and I think that this particularly applies to my welcoming of Spring. We’ve enjoyed various little celebrations and activities over the past few weeks, such as….
spotting spring flowers, catkins and green buds on trees during our walks out and about. The almost-daily check of how much the green shoots in our garden have grown is such a magical spring ritual to share with my son.
Changing our nature table to reflect this festival.
talking together about the change from winter, about the Earth waking up and about new life emerging – such as lambs being born! Dylan and I enjoyed a sheep-making activity from The Imagination Tree:
blessing the packets of seeds that we intend to plant in our garden this year – indeed, we have some exciting plans for revamping our garden, (if our landlord agrees). For the blessing, we placed the packets in the centre of a ring of beeswax candles that I’d made, with a small bowl of Glastonbury Chalice Well water at the centre. We each gently blew around the circle and visualised the sun, rain and our love and nurture helping our seeds to go into beautiful vegetables, salads and flowers. I then extinguished all candles except one, which I put in the garden in a jam jar to help the earth to wake up. I left it there until it was spent.
For more personal activities, focussing on my goals for this year – the seeds I’m planting in my life – as well as working a little with the goddess Bridget and thinking about my associations and identifications with her. I’ve also enjoyed using Miranda Grey’s womb renewal blessing from the last Worldwide Womb Blessing.