Well, it is finally starting to feel like Spring again – and on cue no less!
I was lucky enough to get 4 days off this weekend, which afforded me time to do everything that I wanted to and then some. We made all of our scheduled family appearances and still found time to relax and enjoy the rapidly improving weather. I also made offering to Ēastre- Eftnīwung, the Renewer, in hopes of ensuring a prosperous Summer to come.
The final day of our weekend saw us driving an hour north to a set of ponds that we enjoyed visiting last Summer. It’s a nice setting with two adjacent ponds that are separated by a narrow strip of walkway, almost like a figure 8. The ponds are home to some ducks, gulls and some crows, but the most impressive residents are definitely the nesting pair of great blue herons. The herons are dinosaur-like and imposing when you come across them walking along the path, though they are fairly skittish and take flight before you can get too close to them.
I’ve been to this place a few times and have yet come across another human being, so it seemed like an ideal place to drown our corn dolly and scatter the year’s collected offerings that I’d put aside. I spoke a little about my intentions to do this in my ‘lætest scēaf’ post that I wrote back in October.
It was odd to stand there and watch the dolly float away on top of the water as if I were attending some sort of weird, aquatic funeral. I guess that is sort of what we were doing – attending the death of Winter. We stayed a while longer, enjoyed the scenery and then headed home feeling a sense of accomplishment.
Even if the dolly itself didn’t truly house all of the growing vitality of the previous Summer, the symbolic gesture of collecting and releasing it creates clear rifts in mundane time and provides a chance for renewal each year – a renewal we so desperately need here in the frozen North.