Coming Up Dry for the Festival of Water

In my Wheel of the Year, the February Sabbath is Riverain, the Festival of Water.

This is because ordinarily, it rains torrentially in late January and into February in my region. The hills grow emerald with new grasses and the creeks swell and thunder. It is a beautiful time, the time of burgeoning life.

But then there are years like this.

It was 73 degrees F. here (nearly 23 Celsius) today. In mid-January. There is but a shower or two in the forecast for the next two weeks.

On the day after SLOGG, no less!

It’s about two weeks until the February Sabbath—roughly the midpoint between Yule and High Springand what shall I celebrate? What can it mean, when the skies are dry and the world is hotter than ever and all the usual metaphors and symbols for this lovely liquid time are hardly relevant?

There is, of course, the other metaphorical overlay I apply to the calender’s cycle: the arc of a human life.

As Yule is birth and new beginnings, Riverain has been for me the Sabbath of young childhood: infancy and toddling. The very early stages of growth, of the first hints of new plans and potential.

This year, of course, it will mark the beginning of a new government in the United States: one actually administered by adults of good will and care for the public interest.

So there is that to celebrate, at least.

Presuming it happens. With chaos and fear so present in the realm of governance right now, I can’t help but feel nervous about the whole thing.

I just wish it would rain.

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