as we mark the longest day

“Summer Landscape” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Counting one’s blessings has a particular poignancy at this festival because, as we mark the longest day, we are reminded that from this point the year will begin to wane and the days will gradually shorten. Transience is a reality for all of us and so we learn that our capacity for joy and happiness — like an inner sun — must radiate from within. It’s worth taking a moment to ponder the mystery that at the height of summer winter plants its own seed.
~ Maria Ede-Weaving
(The Essential Book of Druidry: Connect with the Spirit of Nature)

of leafing and blossoming

“Chestnut Tree in Blossom” by Vincent van Gogh

Beltane is the joyous time of leafing and blossoming. This festival celebrates sex and the transformation that comes when we open ourselves to another at the deepest level. This alchemy can also happen when we allow ourselves to be profoundly touched by nature. When we open to and merge with our environment, we can discover sacred union with the world itself.
~ Maria Ede-Weaving
(The Essential Book of Druidry: Connect with the Spirit of Nature)

at the spring equinox

“An Orchard in Spring” by Claude Monet

At the Spring Equinox, nature is stretching awake and we, too, surface from our winter stillness, driven on by the growing light and warmth of the sun. Alban Eilir is the dawn of the year. It brings with it a sense of hope and the fresh possibilities of a new day. We see everywhere the vibrant spirit of the Earth, whose irrepressible life bursts forth in the opening of buds, the surfacing of shoots, and the golden blossoming of primrose, daffodil, broom and forsythia. All life must rise up from the dark soil and break out of the safety of womb and egg.
~ Maria Ede-Weaving
(The Essential Book of Druidry: Connect with the Spirit of Nature)

although winter is still with us

image credit: Katerina Vulcova at pixabay

Although winter is still with us, we sense the subtle renewing of life at the edge of our senses, visible in the growing light and the first greening shoots. Like a seed germinating in the dark soil, we, too, feel the bright spark of life that burns within us. Its call will soon drive us from the warmth and safety of the dark to the ever-quickening call of the light. For now, we must sit at Brigid’s hearth, dreaming and drawing nourishment and comfort from it until the lighter, warmer days. At Imbolc we honour those dreams and the inner fire that will create the world anew — we, too, shall soon become the spring.
~ Maria Ede-Weaving
(The Essential Book of Druidry: Connect with the Spirit of Nature)

in the depths of winter

“Chestnut Trees, Louveciennes, Winter” by Camille Pissarro

This is the season of the long night and the leafless tree. The cold seeps into our bones and life sleeps beneath the soil. ….. We know that the worst of the winter is yet to come, and we must endure this, but the solstice sun is reborn and, with it, our hopes for growing light and warmth. In the depths of winter, summer plants its seed and the dark stillness explodes with starlight.
~ Maria Ede-Weaving
(The Essential Book of Druidry: Connect with the Spirit of Nature)