Signs of Spring: Welcome, February

Signs of Spring
One of the goals I set for myself this year was to really pay attention to the seasons, and to attune myself to what is going on in my garden, what's going on with the moon, and to the flow of the year. This is something that's always been important to me, but it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day bustle, with work, email, childcare, nightly dinners, and to forget to mark the days and tune in to the little changes in the earth. 
Luckily, I have a bright and cheerful reminder right outside my studio window: the pink magnolia (strategically situated next to the lemon tree for an especially lovely show of color) which bursts into bloom at the end of January every year, heralding spring and reminding me to take a breath and notice the changes around me. 
February gets its name from the Roman word Februa, meaning to cleanse, and it marked the month-long purification festival of Februalia that took place at this time of the year. It also kicks off with the fire festival of Imbolc, which marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox, and celebrates the return of the light, the wakening of the earth and the fertility of spring. Not to mention the Lunar New Year that was celebrated with the new moon on February 1st. It's a time of renewal and transition, and for preparing for all that will come in the year ahead. All of this is perfectly aligned with my internal landscape these days. I am finding myself in a period of transition as well, blinking and a bit raw after the relative isolation of the past 2 years, and bubbling with new creative ideas and inspirations. The structure I set for myself last month has paid off in the sense that I have more time, more energy and a renewed sense of purpose and focus. I feel ready to brush off the flotsam of the past year (or two), give myself a good spring cleansing and take on the new year. Welcome, February!
Pink magnolia heralding spring

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