Almost day by day you can notice the difference; the stretch in the day is becoming longer. And with the prevailing of daylight above the dark winter the three months of winter are over.
It has not taken long though for this past winter has been rather mild temperature wise and throughout the season there was not much rainfall either. Still the evening during winter is long.
As soon as the lengthening of the day was only hardly noticeable, some weeks ago, a stretch was also felt in the vitality of the people themselves. It was not only the farmers though who were driving their tractors with verve up and down to the Caladh Mór, the beach at the new pier, to gather seaweed for the fields. The villagers too seemed to have a brisker step and less hided in the collar of their coats. Hibernation has attained a final stage. As through a clearer view the future looks more feasible defined and plans forged at the tine or the fireside, can be put into action from now on.
The long-time of Christmas started with the feast of Mairtín, has come to a closure now but her spirit still spreads her generosity at the arrival of Spring. The girls of the primary school here on Inis Meáin use to prelude the season with Brideog, a self-made doll out of straw and decorated nicely in their midst, the girls go along the houses at night time dancing and singing the song of the blessing of Saint Bríde for health to people and animals throughout the year lying ahead of us.
At Candlemas or Lá fhéile Muire na gCoinneal, the day after, the light of the blessed candle will remind us of the Light long since prepared to come into the world with the birth of the child Jesus. With our candles blessed on Candlemas we symbolically set forth to welcome the true Light, with the sincere wish that our lit candles are an outward sign of our inner engagement.
On the third day dedicated to Saint Blaise, our engagement is supported by the blessing of the throat in which we are remembered of the virtue of taciturnity.
Backed with this preparation of goodness we can face the new born daylight half of the year with trust.
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin