Monday, January 07, 2013

Happy Plough Monday

Celebrated: In medieval England, on the first Monday after Twelfth Night

Parts of England still celebrate Plough Monday, which marks the return of farmers to the fields after the 12 days of Christmas. It's always a Monday, following the traditional blessing of the ploughs on the first Sunday of the year. On this year's calendar, today is also Distaff Day, the female equivalent, although Distaff Day is simply the first day after Twelfth Night, and can fall on any day of the week. (Apparently, spindles required no special blessing for the year. And spinning wasn't something women spent all day doing; it was what women did during their theoretical spare time, whenever they might have 15 minutes to sit without something else in their hands.)

In any case, it's the day everybody goes back to work after the holidays. Can you feel it? I can, even from my seat on the living room couch. Normal service is resuming all over the world, New Year's resolutions are clicking into place (or not), and I'd guess it will be the heaviest e-mail traffic day of the year. It feels like 2013 starts in earnest today.

The effect goes double for me, because I've spent the last month not only celebrating the holidays but indulging my seasonal depression and my grief over Dizzy. That stops today. If you've been waiting to get something back from me, I apologize for the delay, thank you for your patience, and promise you'll see it in the next day or two.

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