If Candlemas Day is clear and bright…

This Candlemas (2nd of February) post was originally published in 2014.

Hot at Candlemas

I just sat in the hot place. It was good. It was sunny and bright, though it offered only a vague warmth today.

The ‘hot place’ is a point on our property that is sheltered from both north and east winds by walls, and situated next to large windows that reflect the sunlight and bestow a sort of ‘double sunning’. It is rather like a portal to another country, a warmer clime or different season. In summer it can reach unbearable temperatures. In the deepest months of winter the sun doesn’t touch it at all. This was the first time it lit up this year, fitting then that it’s Groundhog Day (wiki), Candlemas (wiki) and Imbolc (wiki).

Feeling the sun on my face, without the usual buffeting wind, was a good reminder that the Earth is turning and spring is on its way. More good reminders: brave little snowdrops.

snowdrops on Candlemas

Cold at Candlemas

It’s been an odd winter, very dark but with none of the usual bright and dramatic snow of Scotland. The continual rain, mud and roof leakages have made the season seem long and arduous. Grey. Dull. No enchanted snowy moonlit walks where surprised owls fly low overhead, no snow angels or sledging. I almost miss having to dig my way into the woodshed (almost, not really; it was fairly tortuous, and nasty when ice dripped down your neck too). Solstice 2010:

wood shed in the snow

The wind has been notably fierce, bringing an ancient beech tree crashing to the ground one night. I heard it from my bed half a mile away. Three loud cracks sounded as its branches broke. How disorienting to stand among high boughs and look through to what was the ground, upended like the tree:

a tree fallen on Candlemas

The world on its side. An oliphaunt fallen.

So, winter: snow properly, or let spring through. The sun is nice today; I’d like more of that, please, I’m ready to laze in the hot place with a book. And if the saying below is true, there’s hope for that.

Traditional Candlemas Rhyme

If Candlemas Day is clear and bright, winter will have another bite.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, winter is gone and won’t come again.

And the Scottish version:

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair, the half o’ winter’s to come and mair.
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul, the half o’ winter’s gane at Yule.

snowdrops on Candlemas

Chosen Sisters, Romans and Romance

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance.

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Review from Terry Tyler: “It’s a fabulous story, a real page-turner and so well written. It made me think about the passage and circle of time, of the constancy of the land on which we live and the transient nature of human life. Loved it.

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

The part of SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD that has been most highlighted by kindle readers.
The part of the book that has been most highlighted by kindle readers

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31 Replies to “If Candlemas Day is clear and bright…”

  1. If Candlemas Day be bright an’ fair, there’s half the winter tae come and mair!
    If Candlemas Day be weet and foul, half the winter wis ower at Yule!
    My mum came out with the Doric version yesterday, one day I dont think I would mind snow!

  2. Sigh – after drought ridden summer and fall and early winter with too many years of such things in a row – winter as I remember it from childhood/early adulthood, sorta, kinda arrived today – bitter cold, snow arrived – without the blizzard winds to accompany it – but this afternoon? late? just before sunset? the skies started to clear and the temp dropped quickly, hard – – the blue of the sky was that white blue of deep cold – folks who live outside the confines of microclimate in ‘town’ and out in the open to wind chill temps, report forecasted below zero temps – calves and baby livestock surrounds me – by those who go out into this all, to ensure herd health – farmers with overwintered crops planted last fall, doubt whether winter moisture will show up as needed for next falls harvest bounty – and so, in new life, on flora and fauna? No matter how much things may change, some things remain the same! 😀

  3. I guess my part of the world has taken all the snow this winter. Here in southern B.C., we usually experience only a few days of snow, but this year it lasted over a month.

  4. What a beautiful picture for my mind. Something shared (winter) on a completely different note, considering I live in Mexico. And Candlemas Day… Thank you for such an image in my imagination.

  5. I love the Pagan calendar. Not only is it more beautiful, think of rutting (Making love, if you prefer) in the fields to the light of the Beltane fires, but its observances are more useful, since they are based on scientific fact. That’s a real bother to American fundamentalist Christians.
    “Candlemas or Groundhog day, spring is coming either way. I hope for flowers on display, daffodils would be grand.” I wasn’t feeling all that poetic this morning. Thanks for waking me up a bit. Good post.

  6. Beltane in the Highlands isn’t exactly like dinner at Downton Abbey. I do have to say that the vision of a flock of upper-class English twits getting busy in a new ploughed field, dressed in evening gowns, white ties and tails is amusing to say the least. Thanks for a great post. Can’t wait to read the next one.
    I do know, by the way, that Beltane is in May and we are in the time of Imbolc, when the mud is cold as Hell and it’s best to stay in bed.

  7. Very nice post. Candlemas hot or cold is a world of difference. Very nice & interesting quote form sister’. I like

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