Monday, February 6, 2012

Of Holiday Blues, Rainbows and the Promise of Spring

It’s been a very long while, hasn’t it?  Once again, I must apologize to those of you who look forward to my blog posts but life has been crazy (and I mean crazy crazy).  The holidays really knocked me down several notches.  I just wasn’t into them this year.  Finances were tight and time was even tighter.  The state of affairs in the world had me steaming angry and feeling that all was becoming hopeless.  I did everything I was supposed to do for Yule, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations – cleaning, decorating, cooking, shopping, card-writing, etc.-and they wiped me out.  Somehow, right before Yule, I managed to find just enough holiday spirit to carry me through the next two weeks.  I came out the other side relatively unscathed, thank the Goddess!

January brought much sadness with the death of my cousin’s 12-year old daughter, Olivia, who had Juvenile Huntington’s Disease.  Although she was free from suffering, her passing hit all of us very hard.  My heart aches and my soul feels heavier each and every time my mind wanders to her smiling shining face, which is very often.  I also keep “bumping into” all things about The Wizard of Oz, one of her absolute favorite movies.  So I think this is her way of telling me that she’s happy wandering somewhere over the rainbow where she is now able to skip, play, run, jump and all the other things she could not do in this plane of existence.  I occasionally have this vision of Olivia sitting under a huge old tree at the end of a rainbow with my mother and my aunt (her grandmother).  They are reading aloud to her and she is playing with butterflies as she giggles and smiles.  I’m not sure if it’s the way I wish it to be or the way it really is, but with each vision I find myself crying and smiling at the same time.

With my uncharacteristic melancholy at the holidays and Olivia’s passing, the last half of January felt a bit unsteady.  My husband was working very long hours and bringing tons of work home (he still is), I was throwing myself into my book writing and catching up on normal household activities, and my son had so many school events that I had trouble keeping up with his schedule.  There had been no time to really just stop and reflect.  Until a few days before Imbolc’s arrival, one day blurred into the next.

Two days before Imbolc, I found that things began to slow down greatly for me.  Although the hubby was still working like a madman and my son still had a school event in the coming weekend, I did not feel that insane pressure.  I felt more grounded and centered.  I settled into a pace of preparing for Imbolc and doing the more mundane chores of daily life.  I was able to make considerable progress in my book, something which had all but been forgotten in the hustle and bustle of December.  I was able to read a few pages of a book each day.  Chores seemed to get done more quickly and more easily.  I was even able to take some time out of my day to head out to my garden and do a bit of straightening up, to feed the birds and watch for any newcomers, and to just be with nature for a while.  It was so nice.

But why did everything suddenly seem easier and lighter?  Why did there seem to be enough time in the day to get all done and still do some things for myself?  Why was I feeling a greater sense of peace?

It was the promise of Spring.  My spirit was sensing the subtle changes in the Earth, in the slant of the sun’s rays, in the budding life below the surface of the soil and was trying to relay this information to my mind, to my conscious self, which had been bogged down in everyday life.  The darkness of Winter was beginning to slip away.  Imbolc was almost here and it was heralding the coming of Spring!

Today, I took my time walking home from the office, enjoying the cool air and bright sunshine.  So far Winter has been strangely mild here in the Northeast.  Hardly any snow has fallen and we have not experienced bone-chilling temperatures.  My garden is a bit confused.  My hyacinths are coming up, my lilac has buds on it, and my parsley has continued to grow throughout the season.  There is still plenty of time left in Winter for a  Nor’Easter to head our way, which will wreak some havoc on my garden and the critters that live in and around it.  Yes, I would like to see some snow because it is what Winter in the northeastern/mid-Atlantic United States is all.  For now, I’ll take the promise of Spring and let it carry me forward into and through each day.

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