|Photo by Christopher Rodgers on Unsplash|
No, no, this is not Yet Another Post about how I'm so sorry I forgot this and I promise I'll do better. I think we both know that's not happening.
Instead I shall just plow straight through as if I've been diligently updating all along.
Today (or tomorrow) is the cross-quarter day of Imbolc. It's not linked to any astronomical events like the solstices or equinoxes, so for convenience-sake, once we invented calendars, it got placed halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. This is my thumbnail understanding of such things.
But, as I may or may not have opined before, the pre-calendar humans would have relied upon other things to let the know what was happening. The quickening of lambs, calves, and kids in utero, the lactation of their mothers in preparation for their birth, would have been signs to all of coming events. Like spring and lambing/calfing/kidding, and all that entails.
I know the lengthening of days would be a sign, but in pre-timepiece humanity, I contend that perhaps this is the time when you'd notice that thing. I know even with a clock it's around this time that "Hey.....it's lighter out when I wake up...." happens, which I then verify with my timepiece.
Where I live, there is a thaw around this time. The snow/ice melts significantly and occasionally I'm able to push some bulbs or seeds into the partially thawed soil.
Or at least there use to be. This winter has been decidedly NON winter like. We've had some days in the 20s, but little to no snow/ice precipitation. Most days are a high 30s with a cold wind, and we'll be heading back into the 40s the next few days.
I'm concerned. Terrified really. This is becoming more common, even as some years (last year) are decidedly more 'winter like.' And this isn't some "I LOVE WINTER" thing. I don't. I get SAD, I have to scrape my windows and shovel my walk, neither of which are as easy as they used to be. If it was just about me, I'd be delirious.
But it isn't just about me. Snow is ESSENTIALLY. It can refill water reserves, and if melts slowly, it's safe in terms of flooding (if it goes faster though, or with rain too, that's a different thing). Super cold controls all sorts of bug populations (insect and viral/bacterial).
In a word, this is just wrong. It stabs at my heart, as I worry about how climate change is going to all play out.
Some of my colleagues at Job #2 like to joke about how, here in Ohio, we'll have beach front property and how great it will be. Never mind the land that won't exist that might have been used to raise our food. Never mind the climate refugees, both citizen and foreign, who will also be looking for their own beachfront homes. Never mind all that.
Well, this is a downer. I blame SAD. And that I'm missing a favorite annual event tomorrow. So, back to the topic.
ANYWAY...what's a suburban gardener to do when her usual sign to 'start the lettuce seeds' is not going to happen? Well, nature finds a way. Just last week, I saw two Canada geese flying over head. And then a few other gaggles in their usual gathering spots. They're coming back for the year. At first I said "Y'all are early!" but then I reflected....no, they are right on time. Whatever the climate is doing, the geese know when it's time to come back to wherever their "North" is.
So...just like that...Nature gives me another sign. One that doesn't depend upon snow or thaw, but one that says "Hey, Leesa, plant those seeds." So thanks, Geese!! Can't wait to see your little honklings!!!