Last evening, the weather forecast was like nothing I have ever seen before in our area.
Half an inch of pure ice...power lines and tree branches likely to snap...."keep a flashlight handy and the house stocked with food and water..."
It looks like we're not going anywhere...and that's fine with me!
Candlemas celebrates the beginning of the lengthening of the days, which is very exciting for someone like me who suffers from premature Spring Fever. The book “All Year Round” (yes, I so love this book!) cleverly states, “At the beginning of February, when the infant light of spring is greeted thankfully by the hoary winter earth, it seems fitting that we should celebrate a candle Festival to remember that moment when the Light of the World was received into the Temple, when the old yielded to the new.”
That Light of the World is Jesus Christ...and I am seeing this more and more in my every day. I am lucky enough to have a kind of "spiritual guide" to the Liturgical Calendar (as it is all so new to me)...a fantastic young priest (and mother!) from the Episcopalian Church we have been attending. Meaningful rituals have truly helped me land on the path to understanding, so I felt very connected and emotional when I lit our candle at sundown yesterday (sundown is the beginning of the next liturgical day)....
By tradition, Candlemas eve is the date upon which all Christmas decorations are removed. This is kind of hard for me, as I so love all of the greenery around our home. Never the less, I feel refreshed by my new surroundings...
Our beloved greenery is replaced by the bare twigs of February. W and I found these branches while out for our daily winter walk. Buds are forming on the branches...a snap of the twig reveals a sumptuous internal green. These twigs represent the promise of rebirth; a bountiful Spring season and the gradual warmth of the sun....this means much to me, as there is so much I can connect with in my personal life!
Our branches are home to some sweet crocheted hearts (made for us by a dear friend) for our upcoming Valentine's Day celebration.
A shallow saucer of earth has been placed on our seasonal table. Wheat seeds will be planted at a later time...but for now, this represents the slow and dutiful work going on below the ground.
|Thus we banish winter|
|Thus we welcome spring|
|Say farewell to what is dead|
|And greet each living thing|
|Thus we banish winter|
|Thus we welcome Spring.|