Candlemas– Groundhog Day–came and went two days ago. I think it was declared that there would be six more weeks of Winter, though I read a headline about it possibly being Fake News. It was actually a fair and bright day here on Friday, but this is what it looks like outside today; and it always feels like more Winter in Montana. Joy awakened to five degrees with snow, over there on her side of the Continental Divide. The Arctic front keeps dipping back and forth over the west side, so, today, we’re predicted to alternate back and forth between rain and snow. How it can steadily rain, when the temperature is 24 degrees, I’ll never understand.
Still, there is hope in Candlemas. Coming forty days after Christmas, its a word with pagan roots, and is the celebration that we are now halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, and marks the day when Winter is half over. It’s the start of new beginnings. In Ireland, the fields begin to be prepared for planting. In France, it’s traditional to eat pancakes (crepes) on Candlemas. And, as it is in all pagan celebrations, candles are lit. Mine are still going strong, though the fairy lights in the pantry window keep coming on and off. Yesterday morning, our internet was down for the longest time, and then the TV in the library spontaneously turned on, and, at the same moment, the internet came back up. I think it has to do with my pagan traditions, though I didn’t eat pancakes until this morning. Enchanted as I am by the golden willow trees, I began a little watercolor painting of a stand of them I’d photographed near the Creston Fish Hatchery on Candlemas Day. And, as spring cleaning is a big part of Candlemas, I cleaned out part of a closet, and one of the kitchen junk drawers. While ‘Winter has another fight’, I can feel that I am slowly creeping out of hibernation. Slowly.
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter will not come again.