Winter Spring Winter

Yesterday we had a small celebration for Imbolc - the first day of Spring in our little part of the world. Some sun-shaped cookies, chocolate chip and orange mini-muffins and a candle at dinnertime.

According to Wikipedia:

"Imbolc is the day the Cailleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over."

Yesterday was bright and sunny and, after a mild, wet November, December and January, the temperatures have plummeted. There is a hard frost and iced-over puddles in the morning. Winter, it seems, is finally beginning, just as Spring should really be taking off.

I am still unwell, though I have returned to work. This cold is lingering and lingering and has now taken hold in the little ones too. They are tired and cranky and for the first time in a long, long, long time, they want to sleep in our arms. It's exhausting, but also nice to stop and sit still and just be with them. Just be all that they need for that short time.
They were ill at this exact time last year. They are rarely ill (thankfully) so it's quite a coincidence.. or maybe not, everybody gets sick at this time of year I think...

They are starting to refuse to nap in the late morning. Something that has been part of our routine for over a year now. They are getting older and I know the routine will change, but when they don't get some sleep they are difficult to manage by the time the late afternoon rolls around. They will sometimes sleep in their buggy if we go for a walk or in the car if we drive anywhere. Last Saturday I felt unwell, so I put them in the car to let them sleep and I took to the road.

We went up over the mountain, and past the reservoir. That side of the mountain is usually wild and barren, with a bitter wind blowing, particularly at this time of year, but on Saturday all was calm and still. The reservoir was like a millpond with barely a ripple. It was a perfect mirror. It reflected the snow-topped mountain peak and the vast grey sky.
I could not help but stop the car and get out to take some pictures. I lament my lack of decent camera and resolve to start a little saving fund to remedy the situation. It was magnificent and my phone-camera could not really capture it. Sad face.

I've just discovered another coincidence - this time last year I was also looking at a lake. Maybe being sick and looking at lakes is a 'beginning of Spring' thing for me now... is this how traditions are born?


  1. Lovely post, Sadhbh. Sorry you're still feeling poorly, and it's not one bit nice when the little ones are unwell too. (-_-)
    Gorgeous photos. As I was reading I was thinking 'these photos should be bigger!' and then you mentioned your camera (or lack of). My photos are all on my phone these days! Most phones have decent enough cameras now.
    Do consider going bigger here, you take lovely pics! xxx

  2. it was bright and sunny here yesterday too! and we gathered so much firewood. so funny. and now we are under two feet of snow today. sounds just like the legend. i hope you get all the way better real soon! i remember when napping began to change and fade and all that. such a transition. so many transitions. but lack of naps meant earlier bedtime! that lake drive looks and sounds divine. being sick and looking at lakes in midwinter or early spring, whatever it is, sounds just right to me. gotta clear all that junk out. just have to. and then see clearly!

  3. Thanks so much for your words! I'm feeling almost all the way better now. Almost. The cold air is helping to clear it all away.

    -Ciara, I just figured out how to make the pictures bigger! Now I just need to make myself a stylish new header!

    -Heather - enjoy the snow - we got no snow here this winter, yet, and we're running out of time at this stage!


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