It's springtime--or Imbolc--in Ireland, that quarter of the year from 1 February through 30 April. Traditionally, February 1st is when farmers ready the ground for planting. Potatoes are planted just after Paddy's Day. Now, the daffodils are smiling, and baby animals are being welcomed into the world.

As the Celtic shaman, Caitlin Matthews writes, "Spring is the time to appreciate innocence, truth and justice, to make plans and prepare for the unfolding year." It's time to celebrate with your inner child!

On my walks down to the lake, the earth is positively bursting with life. I can feel the nature spirits--dryads of the trees, undines in the lake, gnomes amid the rocks--on the edge of this world. The air throbs with their curiosity and their willingness to help or hinder.

This is a wonderful time to go to a wild place and stand barefoot on the earth. It may be too cold to do this for more than a few minutes, but if you try it, the earth will give you a gift -- an infusion of it's power and energy to spring forth into this glorious season.