We are all pretty familiar with the legend of Punxsutawney Phil who emerges on February 2nd each year. If he sees his shadow, or perhaps the sea of reporters and cameras, he runs back to his burrow and winter will last six more weeks.
Less familiar, perhaps, is the legend of the Cailleach, the divine hag Goddess, who gathers firewood for the rest of winter on Imbolc. She makes sure the day is bright and sunny so she can gather plenty of firewood. And winter will continue. If the day holds foul weather, it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over.
The Goddess or the Groundhog? I’ll take the Cailleach. The weather in Ireland on the 2nd was warm and cloudy with rain in the east. Good to know when I pack for Ireland at the end of the month.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org