They are a sign to me that spring is near.
I’ve been under the influence of Seasonal Affective Disorder the last few days, so yesterday I took myself outside to walk Mr. McCarthy’s fields. I started by visiting the Fort. Offerings of coins and a found object were made at the entrance, then I walked the perimeter and as far up as the outer bank. In an opening, shining in the sun, was a hand sized chunk of quartz stone. These stones are common here, their milky white surface setting them apart from the green and brown of the general landscape. It was taboo to use these stones in the building of any human habitation. They were Sí (mound) stones, heavily associated with the dwellers in the mounds, both of non-human and human ancestor. There are some beautiful folk cures involving these stones, as well as a history of use for blessing and cursing.
I picked the quartz up to kiss it. Cold it was, like ice. I spoke words of blessing on my GranDaddy, who passed just a few weeks ago, and on my Grandparents; Mabon and Gene. Then I returned it. “Peace between us.” You don’t take ANYthing that belongs to Them!
As I walked the hedge I looked for sprouts and buds. Paying attention to what type of plants were growing. I also hopped up on the hedge every now and then to get a view. To orient myself with the geography and directions. A long swath of the field includes the highest point of the ridge. From there I took notice of natural features, like contours, tree line, and any circular tree or hedge lined areas which may indicate a fort. I also looked for boggy spots because I know a holy well was located near here.
During this walking of the physical bounds, I noticed group after group of small birds flying low across the field. They were a small bird I haven’t noticed all winter. This morning I heard small bird song. During the winter I have mostly heard the croaking of the Raven in our tall evergreen. I’m not yet familiar with the birds of Ireland but I certainly wonder whether some migrant species have now returned.
Their song, as it wafted in through the window this morning, gave me hope. And as I sit here in the window ledge typing this, I hear them sing their twilight settling-in songs. Yes…I think She Who Brings The Buds of Spring is stirring!