It may be difficult to believe, but Spring is coming. On my afternoon walk yesterday, I saw stalks of plantain peeking through the snow. The further I walked, the more I saw green blades of grass interspersed with the old yellow grass.
Most days, it's still cold and gray and snowy, but if you look beneath the surface, new life is rising like tree sap. Warmth is coming. Light is coming. We are being invited, very slowly, to begin stirring from our much needed hibernation.
In anticipation, I've begun perusing seed catalogs and envisioning what I'll plant and where. Though it's likely months away, I'm excited about the return of yarrow and rosehips, dandelions and red clover. Knowing that the cold and dark of winter won't last forever helps me find more moments of appreciation for what winter brings, like the chance to bask in candlelight, sleep in late, enjoy the quiet that comes with the snow.
What I love about living in connection to nature is the realization that our bodies and the land mirror each other in many ways. It's rare for things to change in an instant-- change happens in stages. We don't go from being completely asleep to fully awake and alert and everything from the tides to the seasons has its own peaks and valleys, moving from contraction to expansion. This reminder that change which unfolds slowly is natural, and is still forward movement, has been much needed and much appreciated.
As we begin the slow process of waking up, we can treasure the liminal space offered to us when we're dreaming. We can simply imagine and envision, without pressuring ourselves to create a strategy and start directing our energy toward what we want to bring into being. There will be time for that later.
Within Irish Pagan tradition, February 2nd is observed as Imbolc. Imbolc, also called Oimelc is often translated as "ewe's milk", since this is the time that ewes would be pregnant and produce milk, enabling people to enjoy dairy products in the lean months between the depths of winter and the abundance of spring.
Imbolc isn't the beginning of Spring, but the sign that it is coming. It's a time to honour the rebirth of the sun, and all that will return with it. I encourage you to consider which parts of you are beginning to stir, ready to move to a different pace and which parts of you still require the solitude and rest of hibernation.
1) Where are there glimmers of difficulty falling away?
2) What hopes am I nurturing at this time?
3) What supports my space for dreaming and imagination?
4) What is this liminal space offering to me?
5) What is being reborn in my life at this time?