Imbolc is behind us, bringing within the stirrings of nature’s newness, the assurance of growth and unstoppable progress. Records show that as far back as the 9th century Imbolc has been known as ‘the time when the sheep’s milk comes’, a reference to the onset of lactation in readiness for the imminent birth of spring lambs.
February was a hard month, a Wolf Month, for those who relied on nature for sustenance. The first harvest of the year was still distant and food stocks had to be monitored to ensure sufficient provisions remained to see the family through the dark winter days that still lay ahead.
However now, at Imbolc, the stirrings of life could be felt not only in the flow of ewe’s milk, but in the greenness of new shoots that began to shyly explore the land. Planted in late autumn, the winter crops finally began to show, signaling that all would be well once more, that food was coming.
Imbolc is the first major turning of the Wheel of the Year and those of us who desire to let nature influence our actions and direction do well to emulate her. Notice how it’s a time of tidying the nest, of clearing the burrows and tending to the small things of life, ready for the glory of spring. Have you got items on your ‘to-do’ list that you keep relegating to the bottom? I know I have!
Now’s the time to grasp the nettle and clear the decks of these tasks however boring or challenging they are.
Once the clearing is done turn your attention to what you’d like to achieve in the coming year, make your plans and be ready to hatch them as the year progresses.