~ African American Spiritual
In the last twelve hours, a great snow blew into The Valley and then melted again. It was quite the blizzard as I drove home yesterday, and I woke to nearly an inch on the yard this morning. But it was light and fluffy, and the warm winds came in shortly after dawn, and soon it was gone. There is still the ice and deeply packed places in the corners of the yard that get little sunlight this time of year. But for the most part, the end of the constant snow is near.
Today the librarian told me that her irises were coming up. I've not checked mine - I haven't had the heart to go searching for life around the bulbs yet. Tomorrow perhaps. The most vibrant green I see this time of year is the moss that grows on the large boulders by the river. I often stop and run my hands over the little green blankets. It's the closest I get to new plant growth this early in the season.
The other item that peaks my interest this time of year is poplar buds. After a few good winter winds, many little twigs fall from the poplar trees by the river, and the sticky buds on the branches are a prize! The resinous material that seeps from the buds is nicknamed "Balm of Gilead" and is wonderful infused in oil and used in salves that are dabbed on wounded skin and rubbed onto inflamed or arthritic hands. There are a couple great posts on using Balm of Gilead here and here.
In the Pagan-osphere, the first big festival of the season just ended. After two years of tension surrounding Pantheacon, many hurt feelings and much confusion, it seems that the festival bounced back wonderfully. Reports are coming in from blogs and social media that this was an incredible return to point for Pantheacon. People came away feeling a sense of community, even with those whose practices were entirely different than theirs. I'm looking forward to reading more as the attendees continue to blog about their experiences. This is a festival that I plan to attend in the future.
Speaking of festivals/conferences, I've started booking my own tickets to events - the first two being Spark & Hustle (a business conference) in Seattle in April, and Faerieworlds in Oregon in July.
February for me has been about shaking off the last of 2012. Finishing old projects, filing papers, giving back that pile of books/movies that friends lent me that I was going to get to, but are still sitting in a pile on the bookshelf/beside the tv. A good re-arranging of the living space while making use of some of my friend's mad Feng Shui skills, was also accomplished.
Thus far, 2013 seems to be the year of shaking off what doesn't work, repairing what is wounded, and getting things done!
Whether you have been hibernating (like me, last year) or hell-bent on clearing shit out, I hope February has been good for you. March is nigh, ya'll. Once my peas and lettuce go in the ground, it's all dirt, all the time for me, so getting my indoor world addressed now is a must! The sun is coming...