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From The President
Two weeks ago, the crocuses I planted last fall spread their delightful color across the south end of the grove, and the cows birthed eight healthy calves. Now that the crocuses are fading, the daffodils are in full bloom, and the swallows returned today. I saw the first swallow flitting in and out of the horse barn, preparing to repair his summer home, and my heart was glad, for that is one of the first signs of planting season here on the farm. Next week, we’ll be planting acres of onion seeds in the still-chilly earth, and we always try to have them all planted before my brother’s birthday (April 21st). Usually by Beltaine, it’s safe for us to start planting potatoes. The cycle of life continues here on the farm as it has for centuries on farms everywhere. I always feel honoredI amto be a part of it.
One of the definitive signs of Beltaine for us is the flowering of the hawthorns and dogwoods. There’s nothing more exciting to me than to see a small tree here and there, discernable from the trunks of the other bare trees in the woods by their delicate mantles of white and pink. Every year I say to the Bear, “Oh, look, the hawthorns are flowering! It’s truly Beltaine.” And every year he smiles that gentle, tolerant smile and nods. He thinks I’m amusing when I get so excited about natural things that happen every year.
But I do get excited, and I must admit that this is one of my favorite times of the year (the other being Samhain). After a winter of being mostly cooped up indoors while the Cailleach rages outdoors, it delights me to smell the fresh scent of spring rain, to feel warm spring breezes caress my face, to see color and life renewed and manifesting everywhere. It invigorates me to toss off the jacket and shoes and run my toes through the emerald green grass. I look across the pasture, grass brightened by the rains, and I can almost imagine I’m back in Ireland. I want to get out and dig in the dirt, to plant and tend and enjoy my herb and vegetable gardens. It’s a bit early for this region, but soon, very soon, I’ll have new plants and new flowers and the unique sensuousness of dirt on my hands.
I’m also excited to see what spiritual things are sprouting from winter incubation. I believe that this spring, more than any other before, I am fully embracing a spiritual life. I am deepening my commitment to my faith and my loves, and truly following the path that sings to my soul in much the same way that the returning swallows sing to my heart.
Perhaps that is the reason I love this time of the year so, the intensely passionate time of Beltaine. It is the renewed passion of the Land that I see and feel all around me that lifts me and helps me renew my own passion for life, the creative passion that makes life worth living. I sink into it, fill myself up with it, dance with it, and become closer to who I truly am each spring than ever before.
May you dance with your passion this Beltaine season!