Silly Me

Yesterday I was convinced spring had arrived. A couple of hyacinths are poking through muddy soil after a mild week, and with daily highs above 10 degrees, the snow in the yard had shrunk to a few patches in the shadier spots. I thought the Stellar’s Jay in our spruce tree yesterday, first I’ve seen this year, confirmed it. But no, he’s here again today, shrieking, snow, snow, snow! An inch since 8:30 this morning, and it’s not even the typical spring mush that melts fast. Richard presented me with a bowl of it, a ball like a cantaloupe, light as air. Sigh. I love snow, yes, how pure and quiet the world looks, the transformation of familiar shapes into something magical. But not on St. Patrick’s Day, for goodness sake! I want Spring!! The fact that it’s blowing down in big flakes from a white sky so thick that we can’t see across the river is really… depressing. I’m going to take this as a sign that I need to post some of my photos of our glorious holiday on the Mayan Riviera today. I miss mango margaritas and the blue-green Caribbean! Heavy snow in mid-March. Hmph. It’s all set though, we’re going to Mexico again same time next year, and good riddance to spring snow. Happy “green” St. Patrick’s Day, all.


Solstice Eclipse

Tonight I bundled up against the chill and stood alone in my courtyard, watching Earth’s shadow creep across the full, icy white Solstice moon. So beautiful. As I write, the moon is reappearing after being eclipsed for over an hour, and the song I am listening to is one of several that I sung as I watched. I always watch for a full moon, more often since moving here where skies are clear more frequently than most other cities in Canada – and I live in the countryside with hardly a light to be seen this time of night. But tonight is Winter Solstice, so I’m very grateful to my friend Beth for letting me know that the full moon marked on my calendar would turn into this. A full moon eclipse at winter solstice won’t happen again for several thousand years. And as much as I love Christmas, it is as much about the pagan traditions of Solstice and New Year’s Eve for me as the more recent Christian traditions that overlaid them – recognition of the change of seasons, the year’s passing, winter’s hold on everything, that suspension of time that comes with ice and snow, and yet the promise of day returning. And no more potent an image for me than a lunar eclipse on a starry night where the woods stand out in stark silhouette against snow. The Earth’s shadow has receded most of the way now, the snow outside my windows brightening again, and for once the moon is still high and southward enough to see here, not hidden behind the hills to the west just yet. I’ll stay up just a little longer, until the eclipse is over. Here’s the song again, in Latin, the way I like it best, so the beautiful melody stands out in the solemn syllables without the connotations of the hymn getting in the way. It does fit, though, for a solstice moon: grazia plena, full of grace.