My friend Waverly Fitzgerald (School of the Seasons) has a tradition of making a pledge each year at Imbolc / Candlemas “to undertake some activity that will nurture [her] spiritual and/or creative self.”
I’m copying one of her ideas this year, and plan on making a pilgrimage on each of the eight holy days this coming year to observe and photograph the seasonal changes. I’ll start later this afternoon when I will walk up to the nature preserve at the top of the hill, through the woods to the Big Meadow where Old Auntie Hawthorn lives, near the Pond Where Herons Teach Their Young to Hunt. I’ll visit this same magical place on each of the Eight Days.
Tonight at dusk at my Brigid altar, I’ll reaffirm this pledge and add another — to put daily exercise at the top of my priority list rather than the bottom. I made that commitment a month ago when I did my Life Review, but I look forward to making the pledge in sacred space tonight. (And so far, I am doing quite well!)
This morning on my walk by the bay, I heard the first red-winged blackbird song of the year (although I heard the first chickadee song last week). But I also saw my first flock of starlings! (those nasty birds) Beloved Heron was feeding at the pond and the cormorants were in place on the old pier pilings, spreading their wings to dry in the morning sun. Three pairs of mallards swam in the slough. In my garden, crocuses are in bloom and the daffs are close to busting out. Lilac, too, has big plump buds. What a mild, bright sunny Imbolc morning, on the edge of winter and spring. I wonder if we will get another snowstorm in February. I guess we will have to wait to see what Groundhog says tomorrow morning, about whether or not Spring is here to stay.