Imbolc is coming, soon. It’s my favorite of the fire sabbats. Last year, we made Brigit’s crosses, lit candles in every room and did a home cleansing, and I shared a lovely story with the kids about keeping the heart fire burning. This year is different.
For those of you who are not familiar with Imbolc, it is a festival in preparation of the coming Spring and Summer. The legends tell us that the mother is nurturing the child of light and bringing him forth, creating hope for the coming seasons. The traditions of the holiday center around making preparations for the light. So, we clean (think of Spring Cleaning), organize, cleanse and sing songs of hope and light. To think of it scientifically, it is a celebration of the sun growing in strength (in the Northern Hemisphere).
I find myself, this year, going through the process mentally more so than I did in years past. I’m finding the urge to organize, not only my physical surroundings, but my work environment and thoughts as well.
As a writer, I’m more inclined to make lists and schedules. I find myself energized with creativity and vigor toward the projects I’m working on. I look outside and count the days when I can set outside and write while the kids enjoy the warmth of the Spring sun. I feel the hope in the possibility that the book I’m writing on will be the one…the one that gets noticed.
Then again, it could be because we always tend to think that (why else would we be putting so much time and energy into it)?
I find myself shedding away the darkness of the winter, the darkness of my separation, and the darkness of my thoughts. I allow myself to step into the mindset that everything in my life is getting brighter…everything is getting better.
Perhaps this is why spirituality and tradition are important (no matter which way you choose to acknowledge it). Maybe we simply need a reminder to slow down and listen to the turning of the seasons; the turning of the wheel of life. Maybe we need a reason to feel hope…a reason to slow down and reorganize and re energize ourselves.
After all, there has to be a reason that the legends and traditions of our ancestors remained, long after they faded away. I always find it interesting when I learn that someone who has no connection with Paganism takes part in traditions which were spawned from the faith (such as Spring Cleaning, or “broom standing”). It reminds me just how similar we all are, despite our differences. It reminds me that, whether we acknowledge it or not, we all beat to the tune of the same drum. It reminds me that the foundation of faith really is science, even if that’s an unpopular opinion.
Maybe we take it too seriously. Sometimes we get caught up in the myth and legend that we forget the purpose of it all. Sometimes we get tied up in dogma and judgement and we lose sight of the connections we share. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me the names and faces as much as it does the meaning behind the actions.
This sentiment is expressed by the Order of Bards and Druids regarding Imbolc. The website reads:
This Feast is known by many names to many people, for the Truth is reflected from many mirrors. It has been celebrated as Februa and Candlemas. Our ancestors called it by names long forgotten, and our children will call it by names as yet unconceived.
It doesn’t matter if you believe or not, Spring is coming. Light will return and we will move forward in our lives. As for me, I take this time to organize my life and give thanks for the return of light (both within and without). I use this time to spark my creativity and drive me forward…knowing this is the year…this is MY year.