Happiness Hibernaculum

Roaring Fire at Lord Stones Carlton Bank
Before my drift-wood fire I sit,
And see, with every waif I burn, 
Old dreams and fancies coloring it, 
And folly’s unlaid ghosts return.
Far more than all I dared to dream,
Unsought before my door I see; 
On wings of fire and steeds of steam,  
The world’s great wonders come to me,
And holier signs, unmarked before,
Of Love to seek and Power to save,—
The righting of the wronged and poor,
The man evolving from the slave;
And well the waiting time must be,
Though brief or long its granted days,
If Faith and Hope and Charity
Sit by my evening hearth-fire’s blaze;
As low my fires of drift-wood burn,
I hear that sea’s deep sounds increase,
And, fair in sunset light, discern
Its mirage-lifted Isles of Peace. 
from Burning Drift-wood, John Greenleaf Whittier, one of the Fireside Poets

Salutations Imbolc!

Also known as St Brigid’s Day, today marks the end of Winter.   As one of the four Celtic Fire Festivals (Imbolc 1 February, Beltane 1 May, Lughnasadh 1 August and Samhain 31 October), it prepares the ground for the abundant, proliferative fertility of the full force of Spring yet to come, closer to the Equinox.

Here in the northern hemisphere, its transition is brumal and beautifully wild and windy; but when darkness comes so early at the end of each day, as much as I love crisp, revitalising air, the dusk brings a need to rest in the nest!

The depth of rest taken in the dark season provides the ground for vitality when the Sun returns.     Anon

The first buds have already appeared along with yellow gorse, the pink of cherry blossom,  with the first carpet blush of lilac crocus and white snowdrops surrounding the trees.     

As one cycle is dies, the next is birthing.


Kung Hei Fat Choi, All! 

Aligned with galactic or Nature’s time, yesterday was the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Wood Horse and the New Moon in Aquarius, bringing with it a vast influx of beneficial energy and renewal.

I feel it is a time full of hope and, whatever this year brings, the equine symbolism for me is not the image of the wooden trickster on wheels at Troy!  Nor the tragic misuse of those noble, majestic beings for human battles throughout the centuries.

It is instead the symbolism of the living wood of breathing trees who enable life on Earth; and the mystic vision of stallion horsepower that moves everything forward even faster – with the added spiritual power and inspiration of the white, winged-horse, Pegasus, soaring into the stars!

Descend from Heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing!
Paradise Lost, Milton

The symbol of this new year’s horse brings to mind wild, wild horses running freely, their manes waving in the wind; of Anna Sewell’s “Black Beauty”; and an indelibly prophetic dream I once had of an untamed, wounded horse running towards me escaping to my peaceful forest!

This night, light a roaring fire or rekindle resting passion with the flame of a single candle;  making your intention to defeat the Chimera, like Pegasus to fly “On wings of fire like steeds of steam;” and soar as high as the stars to your dreams this wonderful year!


No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

Hal Borland

“Dedicated to the Priests of Peace, all Shepherds and Horse Lords
and my Imperial Lore Liege – the King of the Rumbling Spires”,
from A Beard of Stars which gift I still have from 1970.  Thanks, Pater. X 
I keep vigil
to the fire
in my heart.



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6 Responses to Happiness Hibernaculum

  1. Andrew says:

    What a wonderful poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. I am about to embark on reading Robert Frost’s works. It must be poetry season. The lunar new year in HK has passed with unseasonal warmth and blue skies. Traditions have been celebrated and the firecrackers (illegal of course) have heralded the horse. And Marc Bolan, well he was one of my generation. A fitting memory.


    • Thanks, Andrew. Robert Frost, more popular in Britain initially, seems to have been underestimated for so long because he didn’t have the same technical skills; but his sentiments and messages are clearly conveyed in Wordsworth’s “language of men” from the few I’ve read myself. We are also experiencing Winter warmth (“for this relief, much thanks; tis bitter cold” Hamlet). Are you experiencing the Force of the Horse? I sensed the pace building in January as good things just happened almost effortlesly! Let’s hope it continues that way for all of us. “There was a time, everything was fine, we got drunk on the day, like it was wine.” That’s MB, of course!


      • Andrew says:

        No Force of the Horse yet, Dawn but maybe good things will happen tomorrow when I go birding! MB used to live close to us at Weston under Penyard.


      • Dawn Adrienne Taylor says:

        Great things always result when you go birding. I was not too far from you, I went to school in Chepstow, Larkfield Grammar School, which is no longer! Now I live a few miles from the permanently feather boa decorated tree into which they crashed. There’s a bronze statue there as well.

        I look forward to more great up close and personals of the BAD kind. They really are a treat to see each day.


  2. Kim Masters says:

    What a beautiful post! Your words and the poetry inspires me and fills me with hope. I’m really excited about the opportunities that Spring brings, and also about the spring flowers. Great to know that Winter is ending, hooooray. Here’s to Spring:-)


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