Friday, February 25, 2011


 If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.

In as much as I am following the Church seasons (nearing the end of Epiphany, starting towards Lent), I am again finding it easier to simply pay attention to the seasons of Nature. Several weeks ago was Candlemas. Candlemas coincides with Groundhog Day in secular culture and the Feast of the Presentation, recognizing the presentation of the infant Christ at the temple.

Groundhog Day has never signified anything to me (that is, until I met my husband and was introduced to the movie Groundhog Day). Regardless of what said groundhog "predicts," around here we're going to have many months of winter yet.

I'm learning to appreciate the church calendar and the importance of the presentation of Christ. I heard a really interesting sermon on the topic recently, talking about the earth-shattering significance of Christ's presentation at the temple to two righteous souls, Simeon and Anna, who had been told that they would meet the Savior before their deaths. But more importantly, I'm ongoingly appreciating the character of Christ as it is presented throughout the Gospels. More on this to come.

But in these cold, cold, COLD days of February (-38 with the windchill this morning), the Candlemas occurence at roughly halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox represents a hopeful turning. The days are longer now. The sun shines more, regardless of the cold. And this, we feel..the sun's strength on our cheeks; my plants flourishing in a south-facing window; the hope and delight in planning our garden for spring.

So, just as at Christmas I celebrated both the coming of Christ and the shift of the earth back towards the sun, so also now I celebrate Christ's life and the clearly lengthening days. Thanks be to God.

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