The Celandine and Wood Anemone's are out across the woodland and it's finally time to lose my winter beard. The big shave happened this morning so the warm part of the year has hopefully arrived. I started growing it a couple of weeks before Samhain and usually it's shaved by Eostre - so it's been a long time with the beard to match the length of this winter!
After a beautiful sunny and warm weekend there are many aching bodies, not least mine. The ice and snow kept riding to a minimum and now the summer bikes, road and mountain, are in full use. It's great to go to bed physically tired and really needing the sleep.
Now it's time to start physically getting fit and ready for my big gework ride - travelling the ancient landscape from home westwards to Chanctonbury Ring and the sky temple there,
then south via trails I've not ridden for a year to Cissbury Ring to honour the land Alfs
and finally a drop to Sullington Warren and honouring the Ancestors
It's tempting to think that this was the Iron Age Celtic spiritual landscape. Where Cissbury was the hill fort used to defend the tribe in times of troubles, the second largest in England built around 250 BCE in the Middle Iron Age. Chanklebury, a Sussex dialect term for Chanctonybury, is highly likely to be the temple associated with the people who lived in Cissbury but Sullington Warren with it's 9 Round Barrows forming a barrow cemetery. These are likely to be much earlier than the hill-forts, formed in the Bronze Age, at the same time as other Barrows at Cissbury. However, I found the place to have an energy that Chanklebury and Cissbury do not. As with all these big gework rides preparation and timing are the key. I'm hoping to be able to ride it at Litha.
The garden has had the hedges trimmed, the lawn mown and the second set of seeds (Cherry Tomato, Courgette, Sunflower, California Poppy, Nasturtium, Marigold, Cerinthe & Apple of Peru or Shoo-Fly plant) have been sown; so now it's finger's crossed for them to take. The first seeds have been planted on - Sweet Peas, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Larkspur, Chard, Leeks & Lettuce. It's good to start getting the garden into shape and to be enjoying sitting outside. It seems like an age since last I was able to. Indeed some reports say it's not been this warm at the weekend since September!