February 2nd is a day with many names that speak of the return of light. Next Tuesday marks 40 days since the Winter Solstice as we arrive at the midpoint between the longest day of darkness and 40 more days until the return of light – the Spring Equinox March 20th.
Thousands of years ago February 2nd was a Celtic festival called Imbolc celebrating the washing of earth’s face. Ancient people seemed to understand the power of sacred rituals.
Another name for February 2nd is, of course, Groundhog Day brought by the Germans to America. We wait for light using a groundhog’s prediction for the remaining weeks of winter.
In the Catholic tradition, February 2nd is called Candlemas dedicated to the Virgin Mary as her purification rite after the Christ child’s birth. The word February is derived from the Latin word februum which means purification. At the presentation of Jesus at the Temple on that day, the scriptures say that wise man, Simeon, and wise woman, Anna, recognize Jesus as the Christ, calling him “a light of revelation”.
Whatever Punxsutawney Phil’s weather forecast is on February 2nd, we are all waiting for the wheel of light to return.
I invite you to reflect and journal with me during these 40 days as our fragile beautiful planet orbits the sun waiting for signs of fresh buds with scents of green growth.
How are my senses responding to this cycle of waiting?
How is light returning to my life after the long winter?
How can I listen to the heart-beat of life pulsing towards inner growth?