February in Britain can be a harsh month – today the wind is wild, and brief gleams of sun shine through scudding clouds in a grey sky. Just a few days ago, the land was smothered by a blanket of deep snow – gleaming white and pristine. Before the rain came, the Dene was deep in the grip of snow and ice.
Yet even then, there were signs of the new life to come. Buds bloomed on the alder, in surprising shades of pink and purple, and the hazel catkins were already dancing on their slender branches. In the frozen wind, they stood out like a promise – of new life and growth, of better things to come after dark days. The golden male tassels (sometimes called 'lamb's tails') are full of pollen that will fertilise the beautiful dark pink female buds, which sprout like tiny sea anemones, waiting to catch the golden rain of new life. I love the way the male and female hazel buds hang together there, in perfect balance on each branch.
This is the time when we can trust that there will be lighter days ahead, if we have eyes to see the small details of new life in the land, and ears to hear the whisper of promise on the wind. And an open heart to catch each glimmer of light as it breaks through the cloud, and allow the shadows to lift away on the wings of hope.
In Celtic legend, this is the time when Brighid, or Bride, walks the land at the festival of Imbolc. She appears in her moment of transformation from the crone and wise woman of winter, to become the maiden of spring. She brings the promise of new life and walks the land with her lantern of love, shining the light of hope into our hearts. Snowdrops spring up in her footprints as she passes. In the Western Isles of Scotland the gentle snowdrops are known as 'Bride's Footprints', drifting like snow across the land, forging a tender path of light and hope for us to follow.
As I walked in my garden the other day, I looked at the first green leaves pushing through the snow. Around each one, there was a hollow – as if the life force of the plant had generated heat to melt a path through the snow, enabling the surging leaf tips to expand and grow towards the light.
This, to me, is The Promise – that we each have a powerful creative life force within us, which can overcome all obstacles, and which will carry us inexorably towards the Light, if we can connect with the Source in our own hearts.
Celtic Harp Music and Essence for February – The Promise
On this page you will hear my harp's (and my heart's) response to the essence of this time – 'The Promise' of new life after dark days. The Harp Essence that I made at the time of playing, captures the vibrations of The Promise and its music. It is here for you.
Immanaire – Julie
(May it be for good)
February's Slideshow - The Promise
Put your headphones on to hear the Harp Essence Music, with the best sound quality. Click on the audio player below.
( The volume is quite low on this recording, as it was made during meditation.)
You can read February's Poem here
All the music, words and images on this website are the original work of Julie Darling and are subject to copyright.
Written permission is required for use of any material on this website. Thank you for respecting this. ©Julie Darling 2013
About this page:
Each month, this will be a place to read the words, hear the nature sounds of my valley, and listen to the Celtic harp music that comes as I create a new Celtic Harp Essence. My hope is that this page will be a source of peace and inspiration for those who visit - like a 'Living Well' to refresh and restore the mind and spirit.
This green place - and all its creatures of the land and of the air - has been my close companion for more than twenty years. I have watched the seasons come and go, seen my sweet children grow and blossom here, and seen my own private journey unfold within this landscape.
I hope you will feel nurtured and inspired by the words and images from my small part of the green world. Each new Celtic Harp Essence will be available for you too - if you find that you feel a strong resonance with the energy and spirit of the time, and the music that expresses it. The vibrational Celtic harp Essence will enable you to work more closely with the energy of the music. (Find out more about the Celtic Harp Essences here.)
If you would like to be notified about each new edition, please click here.