>Hard to believe, in what feels here like mid-winter, but this is the old Celtic holiday Imbolc, the traditional first day of spring. It’s also St. Brigid’s Day (The Irish St. Brigid being a reinvention of the Celtic goddess Brigid, or Brigantia*, who represented many things having to do with height — highlands, higher learning, craftsmanship, poetry high-reaching fires, etc.)
Even though it’s still hardly springlike, the sun is indeed clearing the southern mountain range just a little bit earlier (and a little bit further east) every morning, and the afternoons are a wee bit longer. For me, the most interesting thing about the day being a holiday is its being a “cross-quarter day”, falling half-way between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. That means winter is all downhill from here.
And so I’m going to plant seeds in pots indoors, both as a symbolic tip of the hat to the slow seasonal shift, and because it seems like as good a time as any to get tomato plants started. By the time the Eisheiligen pass through, they will be a nice size to set outside (assuming I ever get my terrace back!)
* The Austrian town of Bregenz, on Lake Constance, was originally Brigantion, a Celtic fortified town.