This blog has basically been hibernating since the solstice. No doubt this has something to do with my recently increased work hours and some demanding extra-curricular activities. But the same blogging lull also took place last winter. The natural world is at its quietest during those cold dark six weeks. There is less to see, less daylight after work to see it with. It is a strange time of year. I have spent some of my indoor-kid time thinking about the Wicca class I took in college with my favorite religious studies professor.
The Wiccan Wheel of the Year divides the Earth’s annual orbit into four parts, the solstices and the equinoxes, and then four parts again, the points halfway between these. Each part lasts for six weeks. Groundhog’s Day, or Imbolc to the Wiccans, is celebrated half-way between Christmas/Chanuka/Solstice and Easter/Passover/Equinox. Today in the U.S. the celebration of this strange seasonal transition is perhaps most visible in the strange form of the Superbowl. But not to be forgotten, Groundhog’s Day remains with us as the Paganieist of our Pagan remnents- a holiday when we literally seek a weather forecast from a furry rodent. What will these next six wheeling weeks bring- more winter? Almost always. But we remember that Spring is on its way. The birds get more visible, and more desperate, as the winter progresses. Temperatures are low and birdies extra desperately need their food- which there is less of by now- the best berries have already been eaten. Birds also like the sun, and are more easily seen and heard on bright days. Recently I have heard the Red Bellied Woodpeckers, the Nuthatches, and the White Throated Sparrows making a racket in the yard again. Cardinals and Song Sparrows have started singing morning make-out music. They were quiet during the darkest days. Now it only gets colder, but nature is waking up. So too this blog… perhaps.