Birds at Bealtaine

A dandelion’s last three seeds. Copyright Mabh Savage 2022

Bealtaine 2022

As is traditional, we started our Bealtaine celebrations last night. Bealtaine, never Beltane, to honour the very living Irish traditions (and language!) the word comes from. Yes, I’ve called it Beltane in the past. No, I shouldn’t have done. When you know better, you do better, right?

One of the kids has a birthday shortly so we were busy sorting out a sleepover and celebrations. The house was full, and everyone was already in a celebratory mood. Us grownups made a safe spot for ourselves in the kitchen and toasted many wonderful things, celebrating our life with drink and music. We played guitar, sang, and ate.

Today, it’s been grey and damp, but the air is so fresh and the weather mild enough that I’m sat writing this in the garden in just joggers and a t-shirt. I can hear blackbirds, goldfinches, starlings, and have seen magpies and wood pigeons, and many sparrows. The dandelions have bloomed ferocious and yellow and now closed again. There is a sense that “sumer is icumen in”, perhaps not quite here but certainly just around the corner. I have more to do: sacred space to clean, candles to light, commitments to follow through on. But after a hectic night and day, it’s nice to pause and listen to the birds this Bealtaine. They know what they’re doing; oh to have that same confidence of purpose, and lightness of being.

Merry Bealtaine to all who celebrate.

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