Happy Global Warming Season

Feb 5, 2007
The Witchvox description of Imbolg seems pretty typical, so I'll use it as our example for the day --

The earliest whisperings of Springtide are heard now as the Goddess nurtures Her Young Son. As a time of the year associated with beginning growth, Imbolc is an initiatory period for many. Here we plant the "seeds" of our hopes and dreams for the coming summer months.

And I and our current twelve below windchill have this to say about that -- "earliest whisperings of Springtide" my arse.

Normally I would take this opportunity to yammer on delightedly about the origins of these festival dates and associations, and how insane it is to take what are obviously, ancient or modern in origin, seasonal festivals and celebrate them on fixed dates when what is first spring in the UK is most definitely not first spring in southern Wisconsin; about how when I was in Ireland I finally realized that the date of Imbolg is appropriate after all when I went to the edge of the city and saw the new lambs playing in fields that were green and not covered in snow; about what this means about modern Paganism and if we really qualify as nature-based at all if we're going to do things like this and if the community-building you get from having formalized dates is a decent tradeoff for having holidays that make no sense.

But this unbelievably frigid Imbolg came after an equally unbelievably warm Yule, and a January with the second-latest freeze dates in recorded history for Madison's two lakes, and the implication of global warming continues to gnaw at my brain. (Not that I'm alone. After all, Al Gore got nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for giving us all this entirely justifiable paranoia.) I found I couldn't enjoy the unseasonably warm weather earlier, and I hate the arctic blast even more, knowing that they are both probably symptoms of something much, much more wrong.

I have a hard time getting activist about global warming, not because I don't think it's important, but because it freaks me out so much. If I think about it for too long I fall into a strange spiralling paranoia about the state of the planet and the nature of humanity, and frankly it's much easier for me just to take the bus to work and call that enough. Some days I tell myself every little bit helps and it seems like it's true, and some days I tell myself every little bit helps and it seems like an excuse.

Even so...even so, Imbolg is that time of year when leaving work no longer means walking into the pitch darkness of midwinter, and that isn't spring, but it's something. Happy Imbolg, everyone. Spring won't make everything better, but it might make it easier to bear, and maybe then we can figure out what to do about it all.

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