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Cross-quarter Snow Angel February 1, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

We’re at the in-between time again. Here in the northern hemisphere it is Imbolc (“in the belly,” “ewe’s milk,” depending on whom you ask; if I see a ewe, I’ll ask her). It is Candlemas, it is the Feast of St. Brigid (Shout out to our own in St. Louis!). It is Groundhog Day. Will the groundhog see his shadow? Who cares? We’re midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, whether a shadow is cast or not. This cross-quarter, in all these traditions, is about people lookin’ for light.

And we’re getting more light. At 5:00 p.m., it’s not pitch black. Some days, there is a quality of light daring to step outside its boundaries—defiant teenaged light announcing fuck you, I’m going to be springlike for five minutes—until it is quickly smacked down again by its cold-hearted elders. But we catch a glimpse of it, and we know—or we think we know—that light like that can’t be suppressed forever.

It’s been a winter’s winter. There’s a good foot of snow on the ground, snow that has stayed. We’re having a storm now that’s predicted to last until Thursday and may dump 12–18 inches on us before it’s finished. As long as it’s not too cold (too cold for me to enjoy it, too cold for my house to function) or too warm (turning to sleet or ice, turning the snow too sticky to ski on), as long as we don’t have to drive anywhere, this weather makes me happy. It means I can go out and play. I can embrace winter as my consort, and we can be good partners until our natural parting.

Still, despite my obvious happiness at this good winter, if I allow myself to think about how much more winter is still to come, how much longer it is until equinox, how many more weeks of cold, damp weather we’ll have in Vermont after equinox, how long it will be until I see a green leaf . . . well, I simply can’t allow myself to think about that. I’m faring well, but a seasonal depression could strike at any moment. It is essential to stay in the here and now.

My monthly checklist on the refrigerator seems to be helping with that. Cue the annoying Christmas tune for January’s accomplishments:

Five x-country skis!
One snowshoe,
one ice skate,
one by-the-river swing,
and two pileateds feeding in a sumac tree.

(Three long snowy walks, too, but I was already pushing it there with the extra syllables.)

Saturday I walked to the post office in the snow. Roy was there. “Indigo, are you out making snow angels?” he asked.

“No, but I’m going skiing.”

“That must be how you keep your girlish figure.”

Those gay guys. Summer or winter, they always know what to say.


A happy cross-quarter to all of you, especially that pagan gay guy Craig, and here’s hoping Mali isn’t too sad at her diminishing light. We promise to give it a good home for awhile.


1. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - February 1, 2011

Happy Imbolg to you too, though I’ve always thought Candlemas was a lovelier name.

2. Mali - February 2, 2011

See, I wouldn’t even have noticed this day if you hadn’t written about it. We’re glass half-full down here, and looking forward to another good month or two or more of summer or at least a good autumn. Picnic planned for Sunday, etc etc.

Though I have noticed the slightly waning light. But that usually heralds the best weather, so it hasn’t bothered me yet!

indigobunting - February 4, 2011

You’re in a good space.

3. Lali - February 3, 2011

The chickadees are singing their spring song. Not too much longer now.

4. LisaS - February 3, 2011

Candlemas. must have known, subconciously, since i’ve been burning candles all day … here’s to longer light!

5. helen - February 3, 2011

All the snow is creating a wonderful glow, even late at night. It’s its own light source. Happy Imbolc Indigo.

indigobunting - February 4, 2011

Thank you! (and yes, the night light source…)

6. Bridgett - February 6, 2011

A Winter’s Winter. Indeed.

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