Being on Erraid means being very connected to the land, we are dependent on the garden in a way that I’ve never been before.
Yes of course we can boat in our vegetables and supplies, but being able to go and harvest a fresh cabbage, some turnips and kale even in the middle of winter makes dinner so much more home made and natural when we do so. It also makes storms less worrisome when there is always food in the garden, regardless of whether a boat can make it here or not.
So here we are in February and we are still happily collecting from the garden. It therefore feels appropriate do honour the ancient celtic traditional festival of earth and abundance, the approach of Lady Spring – and celebrate Imbolc.
This time of year, the light is rapidly returning, and this far north we really notice it. We have almost an hour in the morning and another hour in the evening that has already has been added to our daylight hours. We have a sense of spring appearing with snowdrops, and this week we have been blessed with a week of making candles for candlemas, celebrating Brigit making a doll, making crosses, and clearing our Sanctuary Garden where we did a small ceremony to plant some rowan seeds as a symbol of planting seeds for the future.
It was lovely to have the children there, the “ritual” was very relaxed, the chickens were pecking at our feet as we stood and connected to the birdsong and the earth. We planted our seed, we drank some water and we looked at all the amazing work that had been done. What a beautiful time of year, half way between the Solstice and Spring Equinox, it really feels great to honour the light returning and Spring approaching after a long dark winter. And in such an easy way. I’ve never been one for high ritual (I remember as a child I always wanted to giggle when grown-ups were so serious) so this suits me. At the same time I love to honour the passing of the seasons and this fitted our family in such a lovely and simple way.