A Little Spring Ritual

Ontluikend_blad_van_Meidoorn_(Crataegus)._Locatie,_Natuurterrein_De_Famberhorst_02Spring is here.

The time between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice is my favourite time of year. There is so much change and life seems to be literally pushing itself back into existence after the darkness of the Winter months.

I know, I know, for quite a few of you Winter is your favourite time of year, but darkness, wet, and mud aren’t my thing. It’s probably why hundreds of years ago my some of my deep ancestors legged it from Denmark and made their way to Southern England to settle down with the natives and the sunshine.

I have a little annual ritual I do at this time of year.

I will watch for the green blush of the Hawthorn returning and, once the fresh young leaves take their shape, I’ll approach one of the trees, bow, and welcome back the Green Man. Then I will ask if I can have one of those fresh leaves. If I am allowed I’ll then gently pluck one, and eat it. Hawthorn leaves are edible and have an amazing nutty flavour. They used to be a common salad food called Bread and Cheese, but the leaves have to be young – after the Solstice once they turn a darker green they become quite tough, so now is the time to eat them.

But I just take that one leaf.

The flavour is an anchor – just as the smell of Frankincense has been linked in my consciousness to magic, so the taste of the fresh, young Hawthorn lets me know completely, and without doubt, that Winter has gone, and Spring is here.

As I walked Oscar yesterday I found a tree, welcomed the Green One back, and took a leaf, eating it right there in the sunshine. As I sit here typing the Sun is shining and a warmth is there. I know it could change, but for my plant-like tendencies I think my eyes will just soak up that light and send all of that good solar energy to every cell in my body.



  1. John Davis April 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    With you all the way Damh. Here on the east coast of Yorkshire the gorse is in flower on the sea cliffs with their hint of coconut fragrance….summer is coming, even if it is raining today!

  2. Michele April 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    No sign of spring here. Had a winter storm here in Michigan yesterday.

  3. Debby Flavell April 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Thank you for that, I will also do your ‘Little Spring Ritual’ 🙂

  4. History Anorak April 4, 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful ritual. I’ve got some willow twigs in a vase that serve the same purpose. The tree in my garden needs pruning this time of the year, and I always bring in some of the trimmings and keep them till the little ‘pussies’ break into leaf.

  5. Sandra Laing April 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    My mum ,who was born in 1916 ,used to tell me about “bread and cheese” and how as children they would enjoy this first gift of Spring.

  6. Char Lewis April 4, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    That’s a lovely ritual. However, we just had a good amount of snow fall fere in Canada in the last few days. Looks like the winter Queen is reluctant to leave.

  7. Mary April 4, 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Out here on the California coast, we have learned to find the change of seasons in very subtle ways…more or less fog in the morning … Sudden blooming of magenta bougainvillea…a taste of more sea in the air. Sometimes it feels like the four seasons are randomly distributed throughout the year…or even on a single day! Your hawthorn ritual is lovely and to the heart.

  8. Nancy April 5, 2016 at 2:12 am - Reply

    Lovely to hear!

  9. Woodland Bard April 5, 2016 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I always do this … as the hawthorn once saved my life 🙂

  10. Donna Tyrer April 5, 2016 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    As children we would pick the young leaves to eat, my mother always called them bread and cheese.
    It is lovely to know I’m not the crack pot I was called as a child, and that it is something other people know of x
    Blessed be

  11. Herb April 6, 2016 at 11:35 am - Reply

    I’m with you Damh, I absolutely love this time of year. The sense of wonder and expectation the energies give are a tonic for the soul, truly a magical time. Brightest of blessings to all.

  12. Alanna April 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, I am familiarising myself with the hawthorn at the moment for a tune I am working on. It is nice to read something so experiental after reading all the facts and traditions

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