Early Spring Feast 18-01-31

18-01-31 Listening Bowl Celebration at Bardsroost. Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse. Over the years the Irish early spring feast for Brigit called Imbolc has become for me, not only a celebration of the change of seasons, but also of the artistry of hearth and home and the fires of inspiration found in poetry and metallurgy. Although the feast does not necessarily adopt the curious mix of ancient and Catholic Irish traditions, it is inspired by them and for two decades I have devised and hosted what have now become our own traditions. Sixteen guests brought a root vegetable each to make root soup together; a poem or song to present in the stairwell and stories inspired by a metal object. Guests brought large sprays of blooming witch hazel and gorgeous spring flower arrangements. Signs of early spring : a softening of the light, snowdrops, lambing season for those close to agriculture, a feeling that winter is close to passing.There was a rendition of the stone soup tale.We discussed music and composition, sang with and played guitar and harp. And since it coincides with other festivals like Candlemas we lit candles and braved the rainy elements to sing together in the garden under the giant cedars to welcome early spring. We listened to laughter while preparing the feast, poetry and songs, stories, the sound of rain and nature and messages of seasonal change. It is important and heartwarming to make new traditions to mark the passages of seasons in the company of long time and new friends. Slainte!  Virginia Gillespie

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