Sunday, February 8, 2009

In Honor of Imbolc

Last week we celebrated Imbolc, the beginning of the Celtic spring. Up until twelve years ago we would have a big party to celebrate the earth's rebirth. Christmas by now was a distant memory and plans for the garden would start heating up. My daughter Piper's birth on February 10 twelve years ago gave us even more of a reason to celebrate. And isn't she glad we didn't call her Imbolc?

In fact, we no longer need to celebrate Imbolc or St Brigid's Day (as it is also known) or even Groundhog's Day because our daughter's birthday party is now the focus for much celebration. But I can't help putting pictures of my garden here to remind me of the beginning of spring and gardens to come. Happy Spring everyone!

To get you in the mood I highly recommend Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden by Diane Ackerman. The following is her invocation for spring:

I want time to pool, not race, but tonight I’m madly impatient for the growing season to begin, and the garden, which is a different Eden for every gardener, to reinvent itself as a renewable paradise, if not a permanent one. I don’t
believe in garden gods, but I do believe in the power of invocation to stir the

Garden of growth, garden of green blood,
garden where dappled light and water mix in the trees,
crow garden, beetle garden, garden of dreams, garden on
the oasis of a life-drenched planet, garden where desire finds form, garden of
floral architecture and speckled fawns,

garden where wonder is incised on a
pebble millions of years old, garden visibly and invisibly teeming, garden of
beds and seed parlors, garden of dew and overdue, garden where we plight our
troth and ply our trade, garden that tilts the mind into the sacred, fleeting
garden, memorial garden, garden abuzz and atwitter, garden where toxins and

tonics both thrive, pool garden, cloud garden, garden that’s an urn for the
soul, garden of roll calls and lists where life tests different recipes, garden
where rain falls like manna, garden whose perennial borders are infinite, garden
whose customs and taboos make mischief in the mind, garden of snow, mind garden
garden of quartz crystal and siren light.

Moss has laid down a welcome mat, and red-capped fungi are mustering like
British soldiers in a rum confusion of sun and ice.
Spring is unlatching its heavy doors, rousting old
dusty hibernators from their sleep, and beginning a quiet fumbling with buttons,
knots and nubbins, and the bolting ribbons of time, light, and gore.
As I walk down to the mailbox, enveloped in mist, birds snitch on twitchy feet in the
aspens, morning ghosts between the houses, and the air tastes green at last.”


Patrice said...

Your flower photographs are divine; such beauty in the eloquent words that accompany the blossoms.

Thank you for a spring preview!

RobinB said...

Thanks Patrice! Hope you visit again soon.