It is Imbolc eve. My altar is ready, full of candles to light the way through the day and night tomorrow, a couple pots full of soil awaiting the planting of seeds, and all the needed items for magic and ritual. I had all sorts of plans for tonight and tomorrow. But something happened today. Something that shook me to my core, changed me forever, and, in a strange way, brought the meaning of Imbolc to the forefront of my mind.
Today, someone very near and exquisitely dear to my heart, a wee someone, a child, became ill. I will not/cannot tell the full story here for the privacy of the people involved. The child was fine this morning except for a runny nose, a bit of a cough, and a slight fever. At some point today though, the wee one's fever spiked and caused a febrile seizure. Being so close to the family and their home, the little one's mother, scared out of her mind, ran the child to me for help. Now in retrospect, I am amazed at how calm I remained. I placed the call to 911, got the mother calmed down, and gathered all the needed items for the trip to the hospital. Everything happened very fast. After poking, prodding, x-rays, some fever reducers, and some tender loving care, the wee one is now fine, tucked safe and sound in bed, and fever-free. Blessed Be!
Yes, children get sick. Yes, some of them may experience a febrile seizure. Yes, a mother going through this with their child is scared beyond rational thought by something like this. But, I am sure you are asking, how did this affect me so strongly? I have never witnessed a child having a seizure. The sight of this small helpless being's body in the grip of a seizure is frightening beyond imagination. The fact that their eyes roll back is terrifying. Even more frightening is that it takes some time for the brain to, for lack of a better word, reset after an event like that. So, after the seizure was over and the little one cried uncontrollably for a while, every single person in that little exam room who had an attachment to that child was sort of holding their breath to see how she would bounce back from it. When she looked at me finally and said my name through tears, my whole heart and soul leapt within me. The light in her eyes, in her body and in her spirit was rekindled and it took all the strength I had in me to keep from falling into my usual post-stress reaction of crying. I saved that until I knew mother and baby were home with all the needed items and I got back into my own home. Then I went upstairs to my bathroom, shut the door, sat on the cold tile floor, and commenced sobbing.
As I sat there crying and blowing my nose, my mind kept switching from the sight of that child having the seizure to a snapshot of those big brown beautiful eyes with the light rekindled in them. Light rekindled. Light rekindled. It repeated in my head with each time my brain snapped from each picture and back again, like the old childhood Viewmaster toy. Picture to picture. Snap! Snap! Light rekindled. Light rekindled. It was then that I remembered that it was Imbolc eve (because that went completely out of mind at the beginning of this whole ordeal) and my tears stopped.
The child is fine, will continue to be fine. Spring will be here soon. Tomorrow the light of rebirth and regeneration is rekindled deep in the earth and soon the world will be full of the sights and sounds of renewed life, like the light returning to that wee one's eyes today and the sound of that little sweet voice saying my name. The grip of winter is slowly loosening, like the grip of that seizure slowly letting go of that child. I breathed a sigh of relief, thanked the Goddess several times, dried my tears, got up off the floor, and, finally composed, headed back downstairs to the kitchen where I caught my own child, my almost grown up son, in a huge and extra tight hug.
Now here I am, watching the snow fall outside my window and feeling the warmth of relief in my heart and soul. Light is rekindled, for that child, for the mother, for all of us who love that child, for the earth. Blessed Be!