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  • Writer's pictureAmy

Spring is Springing

If you have a smartphone of any form, it probably makes automated videos from your photo library. Mine offered up one such video this week that was titled “April at Home” in which the first photo was of a hawthorn tree full of beautiful buds on a bright sunny day, and the very next was that same tree covered in a few inches of snow and ice. It summed up this upstate April in 1.5 seconds with hilarious efficiency. But it’s precisely that dichotomy that makes April so exciting as it gives way to May flowers, as it were.

On April 29, we celebrated DColl’s 1-year anniversary. Dandelion Collaborative was a long time coming, and yet it began on a whim. Surprising absolutely no one, DColl was born in Spring, a time of major growth and renewal. It’s not lost on me that the anniversary very nearly coincides with Beltane, the Celtic Pagan festival of fire, fertility, and rebirth. The name "Beltane" is believed to derive from the Celtic god Bel, meaning "bright one," and the Gaelic word "teine," meaning fire. And so, Beltane is the festival of the bright fire, symbolizing the return of the sun's warmth and light to the land after the long winter months. It is with this spirit that Dandelion Collaborative was born. Just as dandelions are opening in April as one of the first natural offerings of color, food, and cheer, Dandelion Collaborative renews itself with offerings of community, vitality, and illumination. New year, new cycle, new awakening.

In today's fast-paced world, where technology reigns supreme and the rhythms of nature are often forgotten, the celebration of Beltane takes on a renewed significance. It serves as a reminder of the importance of reconnecting with the natural world and honoring the cycles of life. As we go about our day-to-day, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that we are part of something much greater than ourselves. Capitalism and globalization have caused us to become disconnected from the earth and its seasons, leading to a sense of dislocation and discontent. Beltane offers us an opportunity to reclaim that connection, to step outside the confines of our workaday lives and reacquaint ourselves with the beauty and wonder of the natural world. It encourages us to pause and reflect on the interconnectedness of all living things, the importance of living in harmony with the earth, and cultivating a deeper sense of gratitude and stewardship toward nature.

Still, at its heart, Beltane is a celebration of community and connection. It brings people together from all walks of life to share in the joy and abundance of the season. In an age where loneliness and isolation are all too common, Beltane offers us a chance to forge meaningful connections with others and strengthen the bonds of friendship and kinship. As a matter of fact, Beltane is not the only holiday dedicated to this time of year. Throughout Europe, there are similar festivals and celebrations such as Calan Mai, Walpurgis Night, and Fiesta de las Cruces. Around the world, indigenous cultures usher in the growing season with festivals such as Holi [India], Nowruz [Persia], Hanami [Japan], or Green Corn Ceremonies [Turtle Island]. Whether we gather around the bonfire, perform a ritual to ask for good growth and harvest, or simply share a meal with loved ones, this time of year reminds us of the power of community and earth to uplift and sustain us.

This time of year is a time to build community and trust with the earth. It will be so lush around us before we even know it! So take a minute to go out into the world, look at some green, breathe, and say thanks. You won't regret it.

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