Friday, 1 February 2008

Snowdrops at Hodson - Imbolc (Candlemas)

Tonight I have three candles burning on the the windowsill to welcome in Imbolc (or Candlemas) which is celebrated on 2nd February. The candles represent the three wisdoms that illumine every darkness: Truth - a mirror and shield; Nature - the shining garment in which all life is clothed; and Knowledge - that comes when Truth and Nature are properly welcomed and respected.
(acknowledgement to Caitlin Matthews 'The Celtic Spirit')

Imbolc is a pre-Christian turning of the year celebration of new life (the first green shoots begin to appear along with the snowdrops) and the return of light after the long winter nights. The early Christian Church 'borrowed' this feast-day and called it the Feast of the Purification or Candlemas. The poet Tennyson wrote these lines which seem appropriate :

Make thou my spirit pure and clean
As are the frosty skies,
Or the first snowdrop of the year
That in my bosom lies

This post is in memory of a dear friend, Chris Johnson (born 13th June 1944 - died 7th April 1996). Musician, poet and scholar - he was happiest when walking in woods or discovering wild flowers. A gentle, wise man who knew the power of unconditional love and left the world a poorer place for his untimely departure.