Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Promise of Spring

There is so much to love about March.  Of course this is the month of Persephone's return and the flowers rejoice and bloom to welcome her.  It is also the national holiday to celebrate beer and all things Irish. I understand that some folks are less than pleased to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but I do not share that perspective. For me, March 17th is all about beer and Irish pride and since I like both of those things I will happily co-opt this Catholic holy day that most people don't even realize is a Catholic holy day. 

That is just the first of things that March delivers.  The second most notable event is the Spring Equinox itself.  Last year, I was able to celebrate the return of Persephone at the glade that I built for her.  My friend and I planted daffodils in her honor and read hymns and poured libations of beer.  I was so excited when I was back at the glade about a week and a half ago and saw that the green shoots of the daffodils were reborn this year. I will be able to visit the glad this coming weekend and am beside myself with anticipation to see if the flowers have bloomed. Persephone's return means a burst of energy.  Every year at this time I feel tingle of this new spring energy all over my body and it makes me want to accomplish something. 

There is one last day in March that is special to me.  My birthday, March 29th. Not only is it Persephone's return every year but I also know that within just a few days of her return I can also celebrate another year in my own life.  I can reflect on all that I have done in the past year and consider all the things I can accomplish in the year ahead. 

What kind of renewal is this spring bringing to you?  What will you celebrate?  What will you plant?  What will you cultivate? 

29. Hymn to Persephone Translation by Apostolos N. Athanassakis

Persephone, blessed daughter of great  Zeus, sole offspring of Demeter,
Come and accept this gracious sacrifice.
Much-honored spouse of Plouton, discreet and life-giving,
You command the gates of Hades in the bowels of the earth,
Lovely-tressed, Praxidike, pure bloom of Deo, mother of the Furies,
Queen of the netherworld whom Zeus sired in clandestine union.
Mother of loud-roaring and many shaped Eubouleus,
Radiant and luminous playmate of the Seasons, august, almighty,
Maiden rich in fruits, you alone are beloved of mortals.
In spring you rejoice in the meadow breezes,
And you show your holy figure in shoots and green fruits.
You were made a kidnapper's bride in the fall,
And you alone are life and death to toiling mortals,
O Persephone, for you always nourish all and kill them too.
Hearken, O blessed goddess, and send forth the earth's fruits.
You who blossom in peace, in soft-handed health,
And in a life of plenty that ferries old age in comfort to your realm,
O queen, and to that of mighty Plouton.

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