In the more southern climates such as where I live in New Mexico, we may have a little bit more wintery weather but signs of spring will proliferate as February advances. The sun shown brightly all day today and I was fortunate enough to get out twice and walk with my dog, breathe in the gentle air --dry but lacking the sharpness of colder days recently passed--and glory in the flawless blue sky, touched with just a very few delicate air-brushed clouds along the edges now and then. I heard a different bird--I wish I could have identified it but by the time I went for my binoculars it was gone. No buds or new leaves yet but not long now.
Many folks will celebrate Imbolc tonight--some from sunset to sunset tomorrow and some from midnight to midnight. I think I will go with the sunset. It was my turn the past twenty-four hours to tend Brighid's flame and that was a nice way to begin. I've started to work on a traditional Brighid's Cross of copper wire--it is too fine to handle well in individual strands so I am having to twist two together to make something I can work with so it is slow going but I hope to have it done in the next day or two. If it works out I will take a picture!
I have so much to be thankful for right now--being here in a place I love and where my spirit feels at home, having a comfortable and secure home and my dear canine friends here with me and the health I have been blessed with. Another good thing, too. My friend who was so very ill for almost two weeks with an infection that was close to causing organ failure has snapped back miraculously and was released from the hospital yesterday! He has a ways to go yet to be back to good health but he has progressed wonderfully and was so very happy to go back to his home and his two dogs of which he is very fond. Neighbors and friends will be watching out for him and I'm glad of that as well. If need-be, I will go over to Arizona and stay a bit myself; the offer is there if I am needed.
Traditionally this festival time is one of cleaning out the old and worn to make way for the new--and for me this is mostly about mental/emotional clutter and regrets or resentments. Forgiveness is very important and I have come a long way on that. Events in my younger years left some deep scars and wounds and I held a great deal of anger and bitterness for much too long. As I have been working along starting to write memoirs and a kind of family history, I've been able to come to understanding and acceptance and to recognize no one was specifically trying to hurt or damage me! Far from it; they may have been misguided and in some instances not in the best mental state or health, but that was no one's fault. It just happened and there is not one reason why I should still be angry or carry the hurt and burden so out the door it goes! Looking back I see how many friends, mentors, helpers and guardian angels were there for me at every critical point. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart and now can only hope to pay it forward in small ways and give the love and support that I was given, at least in part, to others in need. To be able to do so is a blessing too!
I did write a verse for Imbolc. The She is of course Brighid, although I did not use her name. The poem was inspired and is offered in love and as a hymn of praise and thankfulness for the bounty of Nature and sacred gifts of life and time.
This night our candles burn again
To call the fire, the sun, the light
To quicken earth and all thereon
For soon will come a shorter night.
This day I clean my spirit-house,
Sweep out all weary, outworn things
Then open wide my heart and mind
To all the good and new that springs
From the flowing well and fire,
From the turning wheel of time,
From the goodness of Her care
From the earth in every clime.
Our hands now itch to till and plant,
Spread seeds upon the fertile soil,
Bring forth new life, create new gifts,
A joyous, giving kind of toil.
This hour we ask Her blessing on
All of those whom we hold dear,
On all in need and all in pain--
An end to hunger, hate and fear.
We dedicate our work to Her
Upon this holy, hallowed day—
Take up the forge-fire for our light
To guide us on the Druid way.(c) GMW 2013