Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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An Imbolc Idea

This winter has been a harsh one thus far, to say the least. Rather than resist it, the best tactic for coping might in fact be facing it head on. Provided that February 2 does not fall into dangerous windchill temps in your neck of the woods, I recommend a meditation by skiing. Cross-country, that is. I will never forget the Saturday afternoon back in high school that I cross-country skied to my best friend's house across a barren cornfield. The weather conditions were ideal. The sun was out and making the snow on the ground glisten. It was warm enough that I could eventually unbutton my long overcoat. I was listening to Pink Floyd's, "Dark Side of the Moon," on my walkman. If that dates me, I don't care. The experience was paradisiacal. 


Even if you don't own a pair of skis, there are usually inexpensive options for a daily rent at a supply shop. Or if you are a member of a nature center, such as the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, you may check out a pair for free with your membership. Find your ideal deserted woodsy setting– preferably something straight out of a Robert Frost poem, and get skiing. If you opt for music, your really can't go wrong with the afore-mentioned Pink Floyd. Otherwise, choose something instrumental and soothing that you can clear your mind to. Karen Drucker also has some lovely selections off of her "Songs of the Spirit" CD that could help focus your meditation to the Goddess. Besides clearing your mind and enlivening your soul, your body will get a great workout. If opting for no music, tune into the sounds of wildlife creatures, the swish swish of your skis gliding along at a steady pace, and the occasional soft plump of falling or melting snow. Breathe in deep and let the fresh, clean air open up your lungs. Let the gratitude of being healthy, outside, and able to still enjoy these things fill your heart.


If for some reason you are unable to go on the actual date, look into an upcoming candlelight ski or hike at your local state park. Many of these options are available to you, especially at this time of year. When you return from your meditative exercise, relax in front of a cozy fire or at least under a comfy blankie with a big steaming mug of hot cocoa. Spice it with a pinch of cayenne and cinnamon, float the old-fashioned marshmallows, top with a decadent dollop of whipped topping, or spike it with a shot of rum. Just be sure to make it extra chocolately and creamy by adding milk or a milk alternative. Close your eyes and meditate on your experience. Imagine the light of the sun growing longer and warming us all in the days to come.



Photo: "Snowy Forest," by Evgeni Dinev from

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Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (, and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.


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