We had an unseasonably spring-like Imbolc, but An Cailleach isn’t done with us yet! Northern NY will experience some seriously frigid temperatures tonight into tomorrow, and we’re experiencing lake effect snow today. Visibility has been pretty poor around my home. Many local businesses and offices closed or never opened today, and I was fortunate enough to stay home. Perhaps that colors my judgement today, but I try to stay positive about the winter weather.
Since I’m an animist and a polytheist, I find it really difficult to moan too much about what Nature does. It just feels seriously disrespectful. Sure, I grumble a bit when I have to brush and scrape the car, then drive in potentially hazardous conditions… but if I want to maintain a healthy relationship with Nature and the spirit realm, I need to find the silver lining and give gratitude for blessings known and unknown. I need to accept Nature’s rhythms to truly learn and grow in my Druidism.
An Cailleach surely blesses us with snow. Northern climates need this as it will help with the later harvest. It helps to control populations of parasites and disease carrying critters. Many seeds require cold to germinate later. Furthermore, the snow and cold teachers us humility and patience. In our modern world, so full of conveniences, few things shake humanity out of the illusion of control like difficult weather! And really, I feel quite blessed to live in a place that experiences an occasional ice storm or blizzard compared to hurricanes or tsunamis. Man oh man, it must be hard to find the blessings in that! (I’d be curious if readers in other climates and locations have found blessings and would be willing to share.)
A snowy day is a great day to get in touch with your inner child, too. Having a little one forces me to reconnect with the whimsy of winter! Taking the time to catch snowflakes on our tongues, make snow fairies, and build snowmen is still so much fun! (Although rolling balls for snowmen really makes me feel my age. Choose the pain you’d like to experience later – knees or back!)
After making offerings to the Nature Spirits and playing in the snow, it’s so nice to come inside, peel off those wet gloves, and enjoy some hot cocoa. My husband makes a delicious batch from scratch! As I hold the mug, I feel Brighid’s warmth flowing into me. I feel gratitude for the lessons and blessings that come with enjoying An Cailleach’s wintry weather and Brighid’s warm, sheltering hearth.