Tuesday, February 07, 2012

...a winter walk and imbolc...

...The owl tree...

In my last post...beauty and bread...I wrote about the fast roads on the way to Calcot. What I didn't write about was the magic we had when we got there. Thanks to my friend Kristal over at Little Drops of Awen, H and I were given an insight into the very ancient tradition of Imbolc.
Imbolc is a celebration of winter's weakening hold over the warmer, lighter days of Spring. It's pronounced "Im-molc" or "Oi-melc", meaning ewe's milk and has significance in the farming year as the mark of returning fertility. With this in mind, we set out on a quest to find some spring lambs.

On our way we discovered a beautiful hollow oak we called "The Owl Tree". The kids sat inside the trunk and drank hot chocolate until the feeling came back to their frozen toes.
Onward into the woods to find snowdrops, feathers, pine cones and ladybirds. H, G and E climbed everything they could find.
We emerged from the wood to find our treasure..a field full of new lambs, bouncing and bleating, totally curious about who we might be. This is spring!
H, G and E climbed to the top of the fence and watched the lambs, mesmerised. One or two of the bolder lambs came close, demanding, with shrill bleats, to know who we were. There's some great pictures on Kristal's blog of the lambs playing. We could have watched them all day.

Nature is just so subtle sometimes. Shifting daylight, warming soil, lambs and the return of birdsong. Winter seems to happen so quickly, but the return of spring seems much slower.
The Imbolc adventure was marked with Kristal lighting candles to represent the returning light. "..and when these lights go out," she said, "may another be lit in your hearts".

... imbolc candles...

...watching lambs...

...the ladybirds still think it's winter...

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photographs, especially the ladybirds:)
    Ancient mature trees are integral to the landscape and ecosystem, supporting a wealth of insect and plant life, providing food and shelter to birds and mammals.
    Has the Owl Tree got a tree preservation order? Good luck with the developers.