Happy BELTAINE!

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate the coming of summer. White hawthorn blossoms are everywhere, just like in the old Collier painting of Guinevere. Bluebells, cherry blossoms, wild garlic, sunshine-yellow dandelions and soft yellow primroses, as well as a myriad of flowering fruit trees, have painted the Irish landscape with bursts of joyous colour.


All week I’ve watched birds carrying nesting materials into hedgerows; shy baby calves peering out from behind their mothers, tiny baby colts that seem to be all legs and eyelashes. It’s a most amazing time of year that positively throbs with life-energy and enchantment.
It’s probably not news to anyone that tonight is one of the two holidays (the other being 31 October) when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thin to the point of disappearing. If you’ve a mind, and spirit, to meet the wee folk, that could easily happen this evening.

At twilight, I’ll be going a-Maying in the local wood known to be ‘home of the King of the Faeries of Connaught.’ I’ll take with me offerings of fruit and seeds for nesting birds and other wild creatures. Most of my neighbours are afraid to bring hawthorn in the house, especially tonight, and they’ll definitely avoid any areas known to be favoured by ‘the folk.’



But prudent has never been one of my favourite adjectives. It sounds like someone who’s eaten too many prunes. So I’ll happily dive into the wilderness and let the fey have their way with me. In fact, on a previous evening at twilight, I did get ‘pixie-led’ in the same forest I’ll visit tonight. Though I knew the area well, I strayed off the main path and ended up lost, wandering around for a seemingly endless length of time. While the experience was disconcerting to say the least and—if I’m going to be honest, downright scary—it was an evening I’ll never forget. The kind of evening that, when it’s over, is life-affirming.
And isn’t that what this season is all about?

If you don’t have a forest to wander around, this is a fine time to burn a green candle and make a wish as you leap over the flame for good luck (the old Irish custom). It’s also the perfect time to plant a few seeds and water them, thinking of your goals as you do. Then, as the plants sprout and grow, so will your goals.

In lovely harmony the wood has put on its green mantle,
and summer is on its throne, playing its string-music;
the willow, whose harp hung silent when it was withered in winter,
now gives forth its melody.
Hush! Listen! The world is alive!
--Thomas Telynog Evans--







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