Happy Ostara

Today we celebrate the change from dark to light, the earth’s rebirth. It may be a chilly 32 degrees out there in my world at this moment, but the spring equinox is all about hope and potential.
This turning, for me, is a lovely reminder that all things come around again. And beauty will bloom.
Whether you dance around the fire in tribute to The Horned God or check out those seed catalogues, whether you carry palms after Sunday Mass or plant some pansies, today the world shifts. And in the Northern Hemisphere, it turns to spring with longer days, warmer air and awakening life.
On Friday, I walked outside (to clean up dog poop on the pavers) and found some spring. Little Johnny-Jump-Ups volunteering by the outdoor faucet, periwinkle blooming under the still winter-bare trees, daffodils blowing their bright trumpets. A woman can smile even while shoveling up poop.IMG_1368
My very favorite spring beauty is the tulip magnolia right in front of the house. I tried to talk it into waiting as the forecasters warned of snow, of freezing temps. Don’t come out yet!! Just wait. Give it another week.
It didn’t listen.
I shot a few pictures, not only for this blog but for me as I anticipated by Sunday morning all those gorgeous pink blooms would be black from frost.
Saturday was for chores and anticipation–and sighing as the forecasters were right, and rain turned to snow. But inside I had Easter bags and boxes to fill for grandchildren. I don’t do baskets as some of the gifts (including the little-guy basketball hoop Kayla urged me to get for her little brother) are just too big. Into the One More Room to sort and organize, to add the candy every kid is entitled to for Easter. We’ll do our little Easter next Friday, dye some eggs, have a hunt. Another celebration of spring and rebirth, of hope and renewal.
I also sorted out the Fabulous Prizes for the tournament–our much-anticipated Drunken Girl Spa week is coming right up! Then there’s the bags of clothes from my closet purge to deal with as the annual clothes swap is only a month away.
Lots of sorting, bagging, boxing up. And no cooking as BW is away this weekend, skiing. Why anybody would escape winter for more winter is a puzzle to me, but there you go. For me, just a day of quiet, chores and the dogs, with the fire going. And my pretty pink tree every time I stopped to look out the window. I stopped to look out a lot, looking at my pretty tree as snow fell, wet and steady, blurring those bright blossoms.
Oh, and the deer–six of them–I chased off, as I’ve had to do routinely all winter. There will be an epic battle come planting time. Epic.
When I let the dogs out for the last time last night, it was shivering out there. Cold, cold and still damp. I thought of my poor magnolia and those brave, impatient blooms.
And this morning, against all odds, I saw this filling the window over my bed. Beautiful, bright and defiant, this celebration of rebirth, this symbol that we can bloom even in the harsh, even if it’s just for one more day.
So I’m taking that symbol into my day, will light the fire, will light the candles, will give thanks in my own way for the beauty outside my windows as the world wakes in flowers for another year.
Happy Ostara. Happy Spring. And bright blessings–and blooming–to you all.  

27 thoughts on “Happy Ostara”

  1. I share your love of spring but just one question. Do you have yellow pollen season? Right now all the dead leaves are falling off here like our version of fall in spring but the pollen covers everything so it’s yellow. I live in Southern Mississippi.

  2. And a Happy Spring to you, too! My quince burst into bloom last week, so of course it snowed – for two days! Amazingly, the blooms are still there, if a bit bedraggled. My lilac is showing fat buds. The tiny iris didn’t weather so well, but the crocus survived and it looks like the daffodils are right around the corner. Such fragility also brings strength. Enjoy your quiet time!

  3. Living on the West Coast of British Columbia, we’ve been having an even earlier spring than normal. Truth to tell, we didn’t really have winter to speak of this year.

    The cherry blossoms on our street have already finished, although elsewhere they are blooming brightly before carpeting the ground and nearby bushes with pink blossoms. Our magnolia trees are at about the same stage as yours, with the white and pink star magnolias showing off their delicate blooms. I love spring.

  4. I had forgotten that 30 years ago in the front yard of the first house I owned, I planted Johnny Jump Ups. They made me smile. Thanks for a nice memory and happy spring to you.

  5. Happy Ostara to you too! It’s always interesting to see what this day holds every year. In Minnesota it ranges from freezing to warm. At least today we have the sun, for a little while. Always nice celebrating my birthday on a sunny day. Have a great day!

  6. Beautiful! I never knew the name of the small pansy like flowers 🙂 I’m in Ontario so we’re not there yet. I’ll be looking for a carpet of trilliums at our cottage soon I think. I loved the magnolia. I’ve always wanted one. They’re blooms are magnificent but as you note brief. I just moved to a condo (that overlooks Lake Ontario) so I’ll be able to see spring bloom all over but that eliminates the magnolia tree 🙂 Thanks for sharing the joys of the season. Kendra

  7. You write so beautifully Nora! (Or as my niece is wont to say, beaufitul!) Happy blooming to you, thank you for the reminder that even in the harshness we all have a chance to bloom. I needed that today. May spring come soon for good and bring much joy and beauty!

  8. Here in Illinois, I think (hope) we’ve seen the last of Old Man Winter. Our pair of cardinals are singing their beautiful song just outside my kitchen window, so I’ve got that to keep me company while I whip up some vegetable soup for supper. I find it tastes so much better if it simmers for several hours beforehand. My daffodils have been blooming for the past week, insisting on making their entrance, even though most days it hasn’t climbed past the mid-fifties. It’s a beautiful promise that Spring is on its way. My Sunday will be spent doing housework, trying to accomplish as much as I can before my husband returns from helping his mother and step-father with some chores. Enjoy your Sunday, Nora, and everyone else, too. Blessings!

  9. We too have a magnolia/tulip tree in our backyard that is blooming now. It has survived windstorms, a falling tree that tried to kill it, and shade from the surrounding forest. Trilliums haven’t shown yet but did see some skunk cabbage. Happy spring to you, your family, and to your readers.

  10. And the sun shone on us during the morning pee mail walk! Chores were done, and now to curl up with a book and relax in the quiet!

    Happy Ostara!

  11. Sweet and happy Spring! With thanks.


  12. Thank you for putting a name to that type of tree. I’ve always wondered exactly what they were. I covet yours! Wish I had one or two in my yard. In south central Kentucky, we have daffodils and hyacinth blooming, as well as Bradford pear, dogwoods, and even a few red buds. Love watching the explosion of color and seeing everything turn green.

  13. Bright and beautiful Ostara blessings! The wheel turns once more and although it has been spring like here in the Central Valley of California for a while, we pause to welcome Spring. Meeting with my group later today, and there will be egg hunting and baskets for the children- and our annual slaughter of the chocolate bunny. Warm wishes to you and yours- and bright sunny days ahead. Blessed Be!

  14. We had a relitively mild winter here with much more snow in February/March than December/January. But I am still more than ready for Spring.

  15. Happy first day of spring! Here in northern Indiana, we have crocus blooms and though ours aren’t quite ready yet, I saw the first blooming daffodils blooming yesterday through a few flakes of snow. Our trees are budding and we have a cloudless sky even with temperatures in the mid-40’s.

  16. You know so many things that I had not known before so thank you! In Phoenix we’re a toasty 90 degrees and so many trees and cacti are blooming! Seems an oxymoron for plants that have way too many thorns,

    can also produce such lovely flowers. I have some pots of other flowers that are so fragrant, it makes me smile just to water them. Thanks for sharing your blooms! Sorry for the gap in sentences…..iPods can be too fussy. ?

  17. Spring greetings to you, as well.
    I asked all the blooming flowers and trees in my co-op garden to please hold off, as well. Our snow is predicted for tonight, though there were a few flurries when we came from Palm Sunday Mass.
    My granddaughter doesn’t like a basket, at eight thinks she’s too old! But we will dye eggs together(that’s our thing) set our pretty dishes of jelly beans and other candy for guests(she doesn’t like most candy. I get her goody bags after Halloween and birthday parties), she might bite off the ear of the chocolate rabbit I always buy her(I eat the rest). The preparation is a little different when you only have 1 grandchild, but I enjoy it immensely just the same!

  18. I am at this moment stuckin bed feeling all kinds of flu symptoms. My Ostara is getting off to a weak start but tonight I will light all my candles and give thanks to the God and Goddess for this renewal of rebirth. So love your trees.
    We have had such warm temps these past few weeks and a surprise cold front moved in. I brought my plants back in side and we did have some frost so I am glad that I took the extra time to bring them inside.
    While I am in bed with my kleenex and my herbal tea I have Dance Upon The Air beside me. What a great way to Celebrate Ostara eith Nell spreading her wings and learning her magic.
    I enjoyed your post. Blessed Be.

    1. I love how you brought Nell and Dance Upon the Air into the Ostara discussion. Love it!

  19. I enjoy your blog enormously. Oh, there’s nothing like the smiling faces of the first Johnny-Jump-Ups! I love the old, traditional (even Shakespearean!) names for flowers. Pinks, gillyflowers, sops-in-wine, clove pinks, sweet william are far more entertaining than botanical names, although I don’t mind dianthus (lovely word – Zeus’s flower). Carnation is just a little blah! Did you know that pinking shears are named for the ragged edges of the pink? Blessings to all in this season of rebirth.

  20. Happy Spring! Northern VA has Maryland’s weather and seasons so I’m enjoying all the Tulip trees in our neighborhood as well as Daffodils, crocus, and Johnny Jump Ups. I’m waiting for the cherry blossoms. My family likes to pile in a car on an early Sunday morning and drive around the tidal basin in Washington coming up against the Jefferson Memorial. The city is lovely in pink blossoms then.

  21. Yes! Spring is the fulfillment of the promise that Fall makes right before it hands the reigns over to winter!

  22. I’m with BW. As much as I love Spring I wouldn’t mind to grab a little bit more of Winter in the snow. Soon Spring will give way to Summer and it will be too hot for me 🙂
    I have a magnolia tree in the garden but of a different kind; my kind is always full of leaves and in Summer blooms some huge white Magnolia Flowers. I wouldn’t mind to plant one of your kind as it is a wonderful way to welcome Spring as we don’t have snow to ruin it for us. On another – but still the same – note: I love the color of your wood deck/path. Is it a trick of light or is it a sunny tropical blue? Really love it 🙂
    Enjoy Spring!

  23. Bright blessings this Ostara. As for the weather, I wish we in Central Illinois would come out of this back and forth weather we’ve been having all winter. Except we’ve gone from sometimes freezing (okay, one week it was actually WINTER LIKE temperatures hovering near zero) to temperatures of 50’s. So now, we are going up and down between mid 40’s one day, and 70+ another. All this roller coaster ride for the next two weeks! My birthday was March 15, and it was 73 on my birthday.

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