Down come the holiday cards taped to the kitchen cabinets. Down come the colored lights I gingerly wrapped around the mesquite tree in the yard at winter solstice. Bright red green and blue to ward off the winter doldrums. Granted, the doldrums don't take a hold in Arizona like they do further north, but one should not underestimate the biological and spiritual downturns inherent in January's long nights. Especially if one resists sleeping more.
Welcome Imbolc! St. Brigid's Day. Candlemas to some. Ground Hog's day to others. I cherish the cross-quarter holy days for their markers. Imbolc, half way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, kicks off February (Februare: to purify) with Brigid, triple Goddess of flame, at the helm. Heat returns with the sun's journey north. Teak throws her coat leaving drifts of brown hair against the bed. I shed clothes in favor of radiant warmth on my skin.
Tis the time to pay homage to earth's awakening. Light a fire to welcome back the sun from winter's southern house. Longer days warm the earth. The metaphor is melt: loosening, the beginning of flow. Contemplate what thaws; ask what remains frozen. The wheel turns; the spiral unfolds into the ephemeral.
Let there be no mistaking, however, this is no normal Imbolc. These are gut-wrenching times as we experience Mother Earth under assault. What thaws, for me, is the resolve to act on behalf of our planet home, justice for all and the wild; my daily reach to sisters and brothers in solidarity; the countless phone calls to Senators; the marches. My solitary life has shifted, making holy days like Imbolc more pertinent than ever. The seasons and wildscapes nurture my spirit; help me to maintain balance.
While tonight's fire will welcome the sun's return I will remind myself that I am not alone. The fires of resistance burn bright. Hell'YA.
Wild Road Home, my latest book, is finished!
Watch for a release date this spring.