9th February 2024

February is a quiet month which still feels wintry, but Imbolc, the Celtic festival heralding new beginnings, was on the 1st and change is in the air.  Beneath the dead leaves new shoots are showing, crocuses are blooming and buds and catkins adorn the trees.  It can still be cold but our days are getting longer.

These signs of new life can lift our spirits.  But let us not hurry our minds into spring.  Let us continue to enjoy the bare skies, the colder weather, a season of resting and refreshing.  All seasons are important, all months have their special flavor, and we can find ours along with the rest of our planet. 

Valentine’s day

Valentine’s day and all is quiet.  The sun warms the tips of the houses and slithers in wet abandon across the frosty lawn.  The wintered leaves still stick in brown batches underfoot, some crispy, some soggy, covering the beginning-bare shoots that are poking through and preparing for spring.  The cool air holds the sun’s smile like ivy on a fortress.  The garden is full of shining surfaces as frost crystals, wet leaves and ice mirror the sun.  The birds sing gently to hold the silence of the air like a glass bowl and not to fill it. 

Every day is different.  Every day holds different surprises as sun and air conspire in changing patterns.  Every day presents new surfaces for our inner worlds to respond to. Today, sitting in the sun, there is a peace that spreads like melting butter through any processes of thought.  There is patience in the frozen pond.  There is openness in the bare branches.

To sit here for a while is to lose one’s own manner of being and become, for a moment, the morning.  It is to lose the distinction between inner and outer, that hard line of thought, like bread without a crust, soaking the day into every fibre.

So today I begin as I mean to other days, the gift having been given and received, the hope heard, the inner paths prepared.  This day is a valentine.  This day all is well with my soul.