Friday, February 5, 2010

Imbolc or Groundhog Day?

The beginning of February has been breezy, bright and cold. The shrimp boats have been going every morning to quickly haul as many traps as they can. Then the race is on to get back to the dock to get unloaded before the buyers truck leaves at 11 am.
It's brutal, cold and heavy work. Tempers flair with the pressure to get in line for the extra 10 cents a lb. With a typical catch averaging over a 1,000 lbs., that place in line can make quite a differance!

This week was Groundhog Day and I think Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of Winter. Yea! Only six more weeks of Winter! I always wonder what Phil, the wonder groundhog, thinks of all this fuss once a year....
Candlemas also occurs on February 2 and is a celebration by the Church which is known as the feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the infant Christ in the temple. I believe there is a blessing of the candles during the Mass.
Imbolc is an even older Pagan day that was sacred to Brigid, goddess of smithcraft, poetry and healing. It is a time when things begin to stir beneath the ground, when new life arises and energies start to gather, in anticipation of the new cycle for the year.
Each of these celebrations of February 2 invoke the light, for the days grow longer and the sun shines a bit brighter. We have actually gained exactly an hour of daylight since 12/21. I could feel it on my face as I walked with Magick, our black lab, this morning.
So today I shall thank the sun and wash the windows then appreciate the woodstove for it's warmth. Tonight I'll light a candle and say a blessing, then dream of summer and order some seeds.
Whatever you celebrate, please include a skin cancer screening for you and your loved ones as well. Do it this time every year and live to love another year. There are 250,000 cases of squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed every year. Fortunately it is easily treatable, though not all skin cancers are. Some are quite deadly, though all should be dealt with promptly.
Be well and Happy Febrauary!

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