For the ancient Celtic Christians, May was the first month of summer. It may feel strange to think of the rhythm of the year in this way, mostly because we’ve been conditioned by society to see May as still part of “spring,” but for those Celts who paid attention to how things look and feel, rather than acquiescing to what others told them to feel, they knew that the change of May meant the beginning of summer.
Their wheel for the year was:
November-December-January: Winter (the cold would set in, ground would freeze, and things took a dormant nature…which is why in the middle of December you’d celebrate the undying light of Christ, reminding yourself that the sun/Son always shines)
February-March-April: Spring (things start to break through the ground, thaws happen, tulips push up and animals stir and mate…which is why Easter is the capstone to the season, the eternal “emergence”)
May-June-July: Summer (heat sets in, you start to do all things out-of-doors, you plant and tend, and the midpoint is the celebration of John the Baptizer/Summer Solstice where you remember that St. John the Baptizer said, “I must decrease so that Christ may increase”…and the sun starts setting a little earlier each day)
August-September-October: Autumn (you celebrate the waning heat, you harvest, you prep and store, and prepare for the winter, with the capstone of the season being All Hallow’s Eve where you give thanks for the harvest and the faithfully departed, knowing winter is coming where nature reminds us that all things die)
This cycle was the year life, but imbued into all of this was the sense of death and regeneration. It was an Easter life.
In our modern days where we’re so tossed back and forth between this event and that event, seeing so much of it all as isolated incidences that rock our boats, we forget the golden thread, the rhythm, or as the ancient Celts would call it, the “heartbeat of the Divine” running through it all.
If we tilt at every windmill, we never stand up straight. The ancient Celts understood this, and so they were able to weather most any storm knowing what season it was.
Now? Now is the start of summer. The season of “out-of-doors.” Take advantage, live into the newness around you, and breathe deeply into the now.