February knows you’re weary.
She can tell by the longing in your eyes, the ache in your chest and shoulders, how you carry the cold like a burden.
On these frost-cloaked mornings, you dream of soft earth and tender blossoms, spring peepers and swallowtails, songbirds and sunny afternoons.
February knows. She cannot give you what she does not have. And yet, she offers hope.
At dawn, the frigid air nips your face and lungs, stuns you with its jarring presence. It’s hard, at first, to see beyond the dense clouds of your own breath. This is where you start: Breathe into the mystery. Let the formless take form. Watch your own warmth shape the world around you.
As the pink sky slowly brightens, two silhouettes appear in the glittering distance.
A pair of rabbits.
Something about their gentle presence softens the very landscape, softens your edges and your gaze. Weeks from now, their quiet stirrings will have conjured the first of many quivering litters. Something deep within you stirs.
February offers contrast.
Suddenly, you notice early crocus, jewel-like petals drenched with more color than you’ve seen in months. For now, this luscious purple is enough.
But there’s more.
When the first golden daffodil emerges from the frozen earth, a sunbeam lights upon your face. You close your eyes, basking in this subtle warmth, this fleeting glimpse of what’s to come.
The cold becomes quiet. As you walk the icy bridge between the harsh clutch of winter and the tender kiss of spring, you carry yourself differently. Hope is gleaming in your eyes, glittering on the horizon, tucked inside your chest like a sacred gift.
Bridge Between Seasons
The ancient Celts looked to the Wheel of the Year to celebrate and honor nature’s cycles, drawing wisdom from the turning of each season. Imbolc (observed on Feb. 1) marks the midpoint between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara). In other words: Imbolc is a bridge between death and rebirth. Also known as Candlemas or Brigid’s (pronounced Breed’s) Day, this festival honors the return of the sun and celebrates the Celtic fertility goddess Brigid.
The days are growing longer. The sun, stronger. The earth opens to a quickening rhythm.
Soon, the seeds from last year’s harvest will be sown. As spring awakens within and around us, the great wheel turns and turns.
While it is February one can taste the full joys of anticipation. Spring stands at the gate with her finger on the latch. — Patience Strong
Perhaps you know that saffron, the complex and costly spice, comes from the red stigmas of the autumn-blooming saffron crocus (C. sativus), not the snow crocuses you see now, bursting through the frozen earth. And yet, these winter-blooming beauties offer something of even greater value: the ineffable promise of spring.
Plant your own corms this fall. They’ll need full sun, moist but well-drained soil and a quiet winter to unlock their incomparable magic. OH