The New Year cold has frozen the water on Mererid’s well. I had already removed the water pump as the solar panel which works it doesn’t get enough sunlight to power it at this time of year and I anticipated the danger of damage if it froze. Today I could not raise the Cup of Rosmerta for a dedication and had to content myself with touching the solid surface of the pool:
Ice locks the waters of this well Mererid
Your memory of flow
Frozen now in the stillness
Of a frosty morning bright
With silvered grasses shining
The Sun sits low on the ridge and will not rise much higher before moving behind the distant trees. Last night the clear night sky was alive with stars. I turned from the Plough and the Pole Star in the North to view Orion in the South with the silver-blue light of Sirius low down as it will be for these few months that it remains above the southern horizon. With no Moon these stars and the shapes of constellations are etched sharply in the sky so that the Hunter and his Dog are the watchers of the Night.
Today the sky remains clear, the air still, sharp and bright while the Sun remains high enough in the sky to provide some comfort against the cold. So I turn from the frozen well to Rhiannon’s horse, wreathed in the grey shroud I put about it at Winterfall. I tell her every day when I visit that even as she rides far off across the plains of Annwn, yet she is here in our hearts:
Er rwyt draw yn Annwfn bell
Rwyt hefyd yma yn ein calonnau ni
And so she is.
I begin to give some thought to maintenance of the Shrine. For now I will let the fallen leaves from the oak tree remain. A late shrunken rose can stay in it vase. But the rose bush will need pruning. Most of what needs doing at Rhiannon’s altar will be work for the Spring. Before that I need to clean and replace the waterproof seal on Mererid’s pool ready for the re-installation of the pump and the flowing water when conditions are right, and before that for a dedication to the rising springs at Imbolc.