Merry Mid-Winter and Blessed Imbolc to all who celebrate the visible return of the Sun at the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox! This is the point of the year that we suddenly see new life as the world around us begins to wake for the coming year. Trees and shrubs start quietly sending out new buds, bulbs begin to reach for the few extra minutes of light each day, and something primal shifts deep within the human body that has us feeling more energized. For me, this calls me to get outside and enjoy a walk around the garden looking for new life.
As I set off for my Imbolc walk, the sunshine wraps around my shoulders in a hug of promise for all the beauty to come. I see buds on the currant bushes and realize they’ve grown taller than me since just last year. My gaze lowers to the ground and I gasp with amazement… Violets! I wasn’t expecting to see their flowers just yet, but reflecting on the recent warm weather, I’m not really surprised. I stoop and snap a picture of a particularly photogenic flower, and thank her for sharing that moment with me.
It is in these small, quiet moments outside that I am reminded of the beauty that surrounds us, and my mind becomes still… and what a relief that stillness is! Living in such a fast paced world with constant stimulation, it’s easy to feel disconnected and scattered. I kick off my shoes and let my feet touch the earth, wiggling my toes into the dirt. I feel a coolness in the soil that doesn’t quite match the warmth of the sun on my skin, and I remember that it is, in fact, still Winter.
“Still Winter” I think to myself and laugh. The thought feels like hitting snooze in the morning to snuggle deeper into the blankets and enjoy the dreamworld for just a little longer. 'Still Winter' means there’s still time for hearty soups, thick socks, hot beverages with a good book. It means we don’t have to jump up and start working just yet- we still have time to refine our ideas before the projects start.
I look back to the garden, but view it now through half lidded, dreamy eyes. I am seeing both last year’s bounty and the coming year’s goals layered over the quietly slumbering garden of today. I think of one of my favorite quotes by Audrey Hepburn “To plant a garden is to dream of tomorrow”, and I am reminded of all of the potential this time of year holds.
A crisp wind rustles through the trees above me, sending a shiver through my body. I retreat back inside where a pot of tea has been steeping, pull out my garden journal and get back to planning for the coming year... Today I found the perfect place to start a patch of Black-cap Raspberries.