Living the Wheel: Seasonal Musings of the Pagan Year

Thoughts and musings of the wheel of the Pagan Year.

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Taking Time to Be

     The world outside is covered with softly drifting snow, nearly two feet deep in places. There is a hush in the air, roads empty, storefronts dark. Lady Winter has us in Her icy grip, and it feels as though She will continue to hold us for ages to come. And yet, I saw a robin yesterday.

     As I drove around attending last minute birthday/Super Bowl party tasks, I caught sight of a small brown form flitting over a snow-covered cornfield. My heart leapt as I spied that plump gentleman's crimson waistcoat, so bright against the gray February sky. What joy to see that feathered harbinger of Spring, and on Imbolc eve, no less. It seemed an auspicious omen.

     I believe that little fellow was with me in spirit today as I navigated a white-knuckle drive to work this morning and visited with the residents in the assisted living facility I work at. The residents' faces lit up when I told them about Spring's sprightly messenger, and talk quickly went from worrying about the weather to reminiscences of springtime joys. Listening to their talk, I realized that many of them are caught up in a kind of wintertime of the soul as names and faces become blurred, the happenings of fifteen minutes ago are remembered as happening hours before, and only details of the past shine as brightly as the springtime sun. What must that be like, I wonder. How does it feel to have the present freeze, only to melt away, while the past remains fragrant as the flowers one's mother planted in her garden fifty springs ago? 

     All too often we squander the present. There is always so much to do: as I write this I'm also searching out books on the history of clock making for a project for my residents and formatting a cookie recipe for my blog. I would far rather only be writing this one thing, with the promise of a mug of tea and a favorite book on completing this, but the reality is that if I don't at least attempt to do it all at once, things won't get done. This is where we lose out. We're so very busy that we don't (or can't) take time to smell the roses, or the freshly turned dirt in the garden plot, or the cookies fresh from the oven. Later, we say. We can always do it later. Then one day, we don't have later. We don't have later because there is no more later, there isn't even a now, not as we perceived it when we were younger. There is only the present moment, gone as soon as we've realized it's here, and all we have are the memories of the roses we didn't take the time to admire, the gardens we couldn't take the time to plant, the cookies that we turned down.

     Yet where there is Spring there is Hope. With Spring comes newness, a sense of all that is possible and limitless chance. Promise yourself that this Spring will be a time of change for you, a game of chance that you will win. Nibble a gooey still-warm cookie as you dig your toes into the rich fresh dirt of your garden, buy yourself a dozen roses and hand one or two out to people you meet on the street. Yes, they may think you're a bit of an eccentric, but you will carry with you always the memory of their surprised delight. One day, that memory may break through a scrim of ice that coats your present reality and releases Spring into your soul.

    Many blessings to you and all those you love on this Imbolc.  

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I am a writer and poet living in western Massachusetts. I have a degree in English Lit, with a focus on the nineteenth century, and am working toward a degree in Women's Studies as well. My work has previously appeared in The Pagan Activist, The Pagan Review, GrannyMoon's Morning Feast, and The Montague Reporter. I am currently working on a series of children's books, a novel trilogy, and a poetry manuscript (I simply can't do one thing at a time!). I also have several random fantasy-based short story projects that I attack once in a while.   I am a Dianic Pagan and practice Kitchen Wicca, and am also a Reiki Master. For a glimpse into my own little corner of reality, you can stop in and visit me at Ellie.


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