Lately, Sundays have become the day I please myself, to sit and sew, to experiment and create. It’s like a ‘free’ day, but it’s also a quietly productive day. While I work without pressure, my brain naturally journeys in reflection not only of events through time, but also neglected business I can now put my energy into. It’s certainly not a day of rest. It’s more of a day for refilling my ‘Awen’. I’ve wondered why it’s been so important to me to protect this time, and why I’m more able, on this day, to say ‘no’ to other demands. I’m pleased to say the penny has dropped! I now know that while I’m creating and in the ‘flow’, I’m feeding my fairies rather than my fears.
If you’re like me, you’ll find it hard to temper your compassion and concern for the thousands of innocent lives destroyed by atrocious wars, as well as for the crisis of global warming, and for the everyday anxieties we all suffer. Our security and stability is truly doubtful. We are forced to question meaning and purpose, and introspection becomes a natural process for trying to find answers for that essential way forward.
But it’s exhausting, isn’t it! We worry, we don’t sleep, we awake frayed around the edges, we don’t cope, and then we worry more...
Looking outside rather than within ourselves, like the sewing and creativity, offers many more wonderful resources for finding peace. This morning I feel like I’ve added an important jigsaw piece to the puzzle of life (I know, bloody amazing!). I’m currently sat at my work table with coffee in hand, and I look to the garden and see my long-tailed tits, the sweetest hooligans, have taken possession of the feeders. Robin stakes his territory in a flurry of feathers, and the blackbirds have changed their song to sing of sex. The snowdrops and crocus are up and calling for attention and, looking closer, I can see buds and new leaves and shoots pushing up through the fertile and warming soil. The catkins, so brave and so delicate, are already shrivelled after a very early Christmas display.
I remind myself I am no different from the clusters of cells and basic life giving elements that all of nature shares. It could be considered a ‘given’ that my own energy and hope grow with the first signs of spring. I am totally lost to the magic of it all. Nature is in the ‘flow’. So, is Imbolc not the best time for us to allow ourselves extra time to drop the anxiety, to calm down, and to give our brains some time out and space for creative flow?
Maybe this beautiful Imbolc energy can be likened to an annual ‘Sunday’...
The word Imbolc probably originates from ‘ewe’s milk’ or ‘in the belly’. It’s ancient, and it’s celebrated differently in many cultures. Some may say they don’t celebrate at all, but its Nature’s calling. We really have no choice in the matter. It’s the pull from the returning sunlight to wake us from our dark slumbers, to make us stretch our limbs, draw the cold, fresh air into our lungs, and ponder on plans for the coming spring.
I’ve always enjoyed the energy that Imbolc brings, but I can use this time so much more wisely. Like my Sundays, I can protect it for the magic and Awen it offers in an otherwise troubled world. Through her long existence, the goddess Brigid has witnessed many wars that humanity has brought upon itself, but she graces us each and every year with resilience, new growth, and creativity. Imbolc is the ‘time out’ and replenishment our brains require to work effectively, to help find meaning, resolution, peace and hope. If we, in this relatively placid part of the world, lose hope... then aren’t we all lost?
So, I’ll go seek the magic. I’ll let my mind wander to all the wonders waiting there. I’ll carry on feeding those fairies. I’ll plant the seeds. I’ll continue to nurture hope, and try not to over-feed the fears. Time out isn’t frivolous or a guilty pleasure, it’s as essential as breathing.