The sun is starting to peak through the clouds for the first time in days. I feel the urge to work outside to feel the sun and breath the bright air. But it’s Beltane as well, and still planning to do for Belfire, my celebration of the astronomical cross-quarter, which falls on the 5th this year. Although… I could use a nice bonfire right about now, so I may just celebrate Beltane a little bit tonight as well.

I recently read that in Ireland Beltane is associated with visiting holy wells. It’s apparently a traditional day to tie colorful clouties to the trees at that grow near sacred waters. Clouties are claimed to be an old form of spellwork or folk healing. You tie a strip of cloth to the tree, and as it decays so does your disease- or so the caster would hope.

But for me, all you have to do is mention “holy well” and my head turns to my own version: The “Holy” Springs of Glen Ivy.  Actually it’s just Glen Ivy Hot Springs. My own personal Mecca.

What? They’re legitmate hot springs. Water bubbling up out of ground loaded with sulphur and minerals, it’s geological magic. Plus, regular pools, hot tubs, mudbaths and I could get a massage… But no, probably not going to happen any time soon, more’s the pity. My Mecca is a little spendy.

Instead, I’ll redecorate my seasonal display with a vase full of pretty flowers, and light a three-day candle and let it burn until it sputters out or until Belfire, which ever comes first. Then on Belfire I’ll prepare the Sabbath feast, which despite falling on Cinco de Mayo this year, it will NOT feature carne asada.

I think I’ll do lamb chops, rice with artichoke hearts and cilantro (a small nod to Cinco de Mayo) and cucumbers with a yogurt and dill dressing. The dill and cilantro will be harvested from my garden as well as the rosemary I’ll use to season the lamb. After dinner we’ll stoke up a fire in the fire pit and watch the flames while we indulge in some alcoholic refreshment, maybe we’ll do a cocktail or a season beer… or maybe it will be chilly and we’ll have spiked tea.

In the meantime…

For those actually celebrating Beltane today, may your fires burn bright and your night be a frolicking good time. Sláinte!

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