Celebrating Imbolc and The Return of The Light

“As the dark, cold morning gives way to light,
And the world shows its face dazzling in her nakedness,
So the twigs and leaf-bare branches,
Bow to the passing dance
Of old Jack Frost.
His crystal breath on the earth,
And the corners of houses weep icicles of joy.
But where is the Sun’s warmth?
Where is life?
A small flower, delicate and pure-white,
Looks to the earth,
As if talking to the waiting green,
“Not yet,” it seems to whisper.
“When I fall, then you can return.”
And she nods her head,
as the Lady passes by,
Leaving more flowers in Her wake.”

Imbolc by Damh the Bard

Alban Elfed, Celebrating the Autumn Equinox

“Deeper Into Alban Elfed

by Coifi

This is the Feast of the Autumn Equinox. The Light of the Sun in the Wheel of the Year stands in the West, in the Place of balance between the Light and the Darkness. This is a time of the Great Tides. This is the Gateway of the Year.

This Feast is known by many names to many people, for the Truth is reflected from many mirrors. It has been celebrated as Alban Elfed and Harvest. Our ancestors called it by names long forgotten, and our children will call it by names as yet unconceived.

At this time, our ancestors saw the Sun, for the first time in half a year, be unable to outshine the Dark. Although he still shines with strength, his strength grows weaker as the days grow shorter. Today he holds the Darkness in in equal measure to the Light, but he is struck in his season with the wound of Time and from day to day the darkness will grow as the Lord of Light sinks into his Age, for the wound is grievous and will not heal. This is a time of farewell and gratitude for the Summer that has been.

At this time, our ancestors saw the Lady who is the Spirit of the Land stand before her people with the full bounty of her Harvest. Here is the reward of labour and reverence of the Land. This is the fulfilled promise of the days of Spring and Summer. This is the Reckoning of the Year, for Harvest is now complete and the portions are set to feed folk and animals through the cold dark days that lie ahead. This is a time of wonder and gratitude for the gifts the Lady showers down upon her people.

This is the time of the turning of the Light into Darkness. Let us step forward into the darkening days holding before us the divine promise of new Light at the end of the Dark Days, from year to year and life to life. This is the lesson of the Lord and the Lady. This is our knowledge and our affirmation.

This is the Holy Word that is written in no less than the Earth and the Sky and in all things that are made. This is a wonder and a marvel.”

Winter at The Tree Place Series–December 23rd

I got new batteries in the gifted camera!!! They seem to be working well, I got 27 images so far this morning and only one low battery reading! The children were nestled all snug in their beds this morning, so instead of pleasing everyone else and using the time to cook or to clean….I GRABBED THE CAMERA AND WENT TO THE TREE PLACE!!!…and greeted the rising sun that managed to break through the steel gray walls of scudding winter clouds filled with unspilled rains to reflect on the river.

Winter at The Tree Place Series–River Sunrise

I walked a different way this morning, up over part of the dyke system that runs across and then along the railroad tracks. I noticed these weeds…

I had to be brave to attempt the shot. The lens that I had for the camera couldn’t get them into focus. The grasses along the path are slick and thick and springing forth from deceptively loose roots in the mud from all of the rain we have had the last few days. I don’t have any depth perception. It is difficult for me to adjust my body to the slant of the sides and I’m always afraid of falling or of sliding. I really wanted to touch the plants! For today I was able to venture a few feet down the slope. The image was motivating if still a bit out of focus!

I passed some smaller red berries that, while vivid and clear did not pass muster to my eyes at home from amid the tangle of vines on a wire fence to post.

The next vision took my breathe away and I was glad to remember and to feel the reason that I love The Tree Place so.

Winter at The Tree Place Series–Forgotten Lace

I was having a few thoughts about the missed opportunity for red. I like red very much. Et voila!! I saw a splash of red and couldn’t think what it was. My mind said IT’S A BIRD SHOOT QUICKLY! I did!! This time I was also wishing for a lens that I could get better close ups. I hoped upon hope that I’d get to see the bird when I got home and looked on the computer screen!

Cardinal Red Request

By now, my hands had become quite cold. I went out in the morning in a t-shirt and sweatshirt. It felt just right and then the river winds and damp decided to remind me that a person ought really be flexible and layered on winter days. I decided to turn about and to go home. There in the glow of the morning sun were some of my favorite trees…singing in the wind!

Sycamore Songs

Celebrating Alban Arthan–The Winter Solstice So glad to be moved to come out more this year. So glad to have enough food and a warm place to sleep and to call home. May gratitude for the simple and yet ever so important things permeate all thoughts and doings in order to create life!!

Images are the property of Elisabeth Connelley and Purple Shoe Photography. They are offered in limited numbered prints.

Please send inquiries to: elisa58t2sugarless@yahoo.com with Purple Shoe Photography in the subject line.