Now, we all know that Spring doesn't really start until the tapes go up on the Supreme Novices Hurdle, which means this year on Tuesday March 15th. But today's celebration that lies halfway between the winter and spring solstice seems to be saying something even more heart-warming. It seems to be saying - “we survived, that's another winter beaten off, we endured.”
I have written about this before, but it's only something I've noticed since I moved to Shropshire. It was around this time several years ago that I sensed how the afternoon was starting to linger lighter longer, and someone said to me “ah yes, Imbolc”. Which begs the question of why I'd never noticed before and the answer, I think, comes from another milestone. For it was reported that Monday (yesterday) is also known as National Sickie Day – the day of the year when more people call in sick than any other.
This seems a remarkable mismatch – between how we should be feeling and how we are feeling. But of course if you do a full day's work and commute, you will still be getting up in the dark and getting home in the dark and spending your day under terrible artificial lighting. So, if you do live in a city and work silly hours in an office or shop and threw a duvet day yesterday, hey – don't despair, you survived another winter, you endured.
(Photograph: Sarah McKean)