Winds, Rain, Blue Moon, and Buds: Finding Nature within Us

We have reached the time of Imbolc, the Celtic-rooted cross-quarter festival that marks the transition of winter into spring, falling as it does between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Earlier this week I felt that winter was never ending, yet my calendar and the approach of the Imbolc Full Moon told me otherwise. Sure enough, a wander through the fields led me to furry silver Pussy Willow, Snowdrops opening, Cleavers extending their star-whorl leaves, even Dandelion sprouting new leaves and a tightly closed flower or two. I pick Indian Plum leaves and my mouth puckers with its acrid sharply cucumber flavor, all familiar to me, all tasting of this transition time.

But even without the buds and the flavors, and even with the relentless rain, and the winds, I think I would have realized on my own that Imbolc had arrived. It’s a quality of lightness in the air, or perhaps a field of grace that somehow touches me and that I in turn can touch, that awakened only a day or two ago. Or perhaps it was I who awakened to it.

Imbolc is associated with Brighid — the Goddess, the Irish saint, She who has been many through countless generations. Rightly so, we may attune to poetic word, the craft and artistry of metalwork and the forge of the smith, healing wells, and spiritual fire, the quickening of life in the seed deep in the earth or in the womb, the power of women returning to the world. And we can continue our wander through space and otherworld time: Music and mystery, Bear medicine, the cauldron of life, rebirth, and renewal, the midwife and the healer, beauty and blessing, the hearth and sanctuary, sovereignty — all of these threads and more are patterned in the ancestral weave that is Brighid, the sun and earth goddess, and this time of year, Imbolc.

Brighid’s Mantle, Brighid’s Well

What follows is  a fabric of words, or words upwelling like water. Allow yourself to move through the language as if it were a weave or waterflow. No need to dwell on specifics, unless specifics pull you inward. The words are merely Brighid-inspired language, inspired by the photo below.

Quote from Michael Meade, Mosaicvoices.org

I know the statement in this image to be true. In this time of quickening, of attuning to one’s creative fire, to illumination, to the forged beauty and direction that powers, activates, and moves your life, what does your Soul speak to you of your life’s mission, the terrain that is your hearth, your sacred earth? How does the Earth herself remind and nourish your essential nature? How does Sacred Mystery hold and guide you within its architecture, and shine through every cell and space of your bodymindheartbeing? Each of us is an absolutely unique expression within the beautiful and sometimes frightening universe, and we are universes within ourselves.

Where in your daily life, the arc of your earthwalk, does rhythm, melody, and harmony enter into strength and a rich-overtoned simplicity? Where is the “of course” in your ecological landscape, the spaciousness wherein the truth and heart of Nature is not separate from your own? When do you find that you listen most deeply, when your heart is most curious, when your mind drops brilliance in service to Unity?

Separation is an illusion. Our roots lie deep in the earth and our branches interlace the heavens and one another, with all things. We are interwoven with more than that which our five senses detect, and we are gifted with a guidance system and compass that lets us know from within which step is ours to make. We are infused with viriditas, the life force, the very physical stream within all of nature that nourishes growth, balance, connection, expression, vitality, our medicine nature in all its seasons and cycles.

The human family speaks 7,500 languages on the earth right now, yet, countless languages have existed, and countless continue to exist in other forms — in the slow walk of stones, the flight of the birds, the greening of the plants, the transmutive agent that is fire, the breath within water, the one story in each star, the secret word in your very origin, in the most minute and expansive place in your Soul. At the very heart of all these modes, these expressions, is a sound, an energetic seed that speaks Mystery, Beyond-and-Within, Divine — the word that holds Sacred nature in its center for us and pulls us deeper into the past and possibility and unnameable and future beauty that belongs to all of us.

When do you find yourself listening most intently? And when are you filled with wonder, child’s delight, deep peace, forgiveness, gratitude, love of all. Where is your place of origin in the deepest sense? Where is the right place, the most resonant tone for allowing your life to unfold into its right timing and motion? Where are you elegant?

Blessings to you at this time of fire and water, beauty, crafting, inner resolve, new beginnings, threshold, and wherever you are in the truth and laughter of your heart.

Wow! Check out this emerging science on Plant Intelligence

So cool:

This on pri.org – Science Friday.

New research on plant intelligence may forever change how you think about plants

The mp3 interview with Michael Pollan (who wrote The Botany Of Desire, and who wrote an article published in The New Yorker called “How Smart Are Plants”) is pretty cool.

There’s an astounding video about 3/4 down the web page. It’s only a few minutes long. WOW!

Watch it: I can almost guarantee that you’ll never experience plants the same way again.

Check out the video (at a minimum!) and please post your thoughts. I’ll blog my own thoughts about this topic in my next post.

The Deer Lead The Way

At sundown I wander to Hawthorn, who I might say is my first tree teacher. Wind and rain have scattered some of her “clothes” upon the ground–lichen of all sorts. I must gather Usnea tomorrow and make some medicine!

I wander the edge of the field, following animal trails that branch off with unexpected frequency into small tunnels in the shrubs. One tunnel slashes through a hedge, and I find a pile of deer droppings (ah, the sign of the Deer 🙂 ).

So, the deer can pass through this hedge! That means I can easily do so too — or: more easily than I can flounder and crawl through a raccoon trail. I push back some vigorous Holly, and enter the edge.

In a few yards it opens to a neighbor’s yard, but I stay within the hedge. This space is its own world! I discover a pair of trees that my eyes had passed over in the “outer world” — twin Cypresses, shrouded in Holly.

This may be a lovely space to get to know Holly. I am currently journeying with the trees and plants of the Celtic Tree Ogham. I will write more regarding that journey in future posts.

Do you have a secret hideaway in a hedge or in the shrubs? Look around your yard, or in your neighborhood. Better yet, settle into a place of quiet, open heart. Ask the plants, the green spirit, or even the deer if they would be willing to help you find it. I’m certain there is a secret space amidst the plant world waiting just for you. Likely, even more than one!

When you find it, or if you have one already, please tell us about it here!

Deer and Green Man – photo by Jane Valencia.    Jewelry by ????