"MOTHER NATURE" (Artist Unknown)
I recently received an e-mail from a fellow named Tim Dalton informing me that he had included my blog in a compilation on his website called “Tales from the Past and Dreams for the Future: The Top 30 Celtic Culture Blogs” (link at the end of the post).
On his site, he writes: "Whether you have Celtic ancestry, or you are Irish on March 17th (like everyone else in the world!), these top 30 Celtic Culture blogs will surely keep you entertained. These bloggers have done a great job expressing the beautiful history, sites, and sounds of Celtic traditions."
Dalton's list covers three areas of Celtic blogging: Celtic Music, Irish American and Regional Irish Groups, and Celtic Ancestry. My blog is listed under the third area. Of this category, Dalton writes: "These blogs cover all of the basics and beyond of Celtic History. Not to be missed!"
"MEMORIES OF THE KING", Nicole Cadet
He also give a brief description of each blog. Of mine, he writes, "This Celtic Lady has a pretty blog that explores everything from art to cats. With her Celtic roots, she does a great job touching on basic to intricate Celtic topics."
I find myself to be quite flattered but not entirely believing he listed the right blog, because I don't think I've ever written about cats. I've posted artwork featuring black cats around Halloween, but that's about it. However, I'll just say "Thanks, Tim, for the nod!"
The listing brings to mind my custom of the past couple of years to write about "All Things Irish" during March. It's no secret that I've been in a blogging slump lately. The world always closes in around me at this time of year and this winter is no exception. As I wrote once, like Persephone I seem to descend into the Underworld during the winter, only to emerge into light and life in April.
In "The Wasteland", T. S. Eliot wrote that "April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land". I disagree. Because it is my month of re-birth, I love April! But ever since 2008, February has been the month for cruelty toward me and mine. In the past few Februaries I have lost a job, had a devastating car accident, had a car die on me, wrenched my knee so that I couldn't walk for the entire month, etc.
"FAOLAN, ANA AND DRUSTAN", by Denise Elizabeth Smith
This February is no exception. My latest car had a run in with a light pole as a consequence of my being stuck in a snowbank in our driveway. The winds blow frigidly from the Arctic. I have a very hateful and cruel co-worker who sits nearly on top of me because the two of us are packed like sardines in a "not even proper cubicle" meant for one person. I've been data entering information about all kinds of nasty diseases to the point where I've almost become a germophobe. And we have had scary news that I can't talk about yet.
I was only spared from February's wrath last year, when I didn't work and kept myself immersed in books. By cocooning at home and staying out of her way, I was spared February's "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" aimed right at me.
It's no wonder that I started my Celtic research during winter, in the February of 2009. It was pure escapism for me, to learn about a group of people who were so close to nature, as I had been as a child. A group who believed in magical and mystical things, unearthly things. A group who believed - so unlike us moderns - that the afterlife is just an extention of our earthly life.
"AVALON" by Mary Layton
It's no wonder that I'd like to be taken out of a world of Alberta Clippers, subzero temperatures, nasty people, flesh- and bowel-eating bacteria, broken cars and worries and woes, and enter into a world of sacred groves and misty lakes, gatherings of enchanted souls, fiery gods and goddesses, beautiful queens and valiant heroes, Druids and dryads, the lands of Avalon and Tír na nÓg, pookas and sprites, selkies and the fae, moon dancing and hidden portals.
Yes, it's definitely time - past time - to start thinking of All Things Irish - nay, All Things Celtic - for my March posts.
Here's the link to Tim Dalton's site:
"THE WAY INTO THE WOODS", Angela Jayne Barnett