Sunday, February 3, 2013

Planting seeds

snow at Turtle Hill Farm

There is a specter at the edges of all we are doing these days. It is the reminder of change, of impending uprooting for our family, of letting go and starting anew.  Dan is finishing his work this spring, graduating, and looking for a job.  His days are dense with slow but ever-forward motion, deadlines and new drafts; my days with the girls are deceptively "normal", as we just do our daily do, moving forward in our own leaps and snail paces, but at the back of my mind, always, is that there is a looming unknown in our near future. 

(Breathe in, breathe out)

Our friends are aware of this as well, though we all try to talk around it, as there is nothing concrete to talk about and it's a bit crazy-making to try. So when my friend Jen turned to me on a long windy walk down her snowy road and said, "I think we just need to smoosh in as much as we can while we can" the  decision was made: we were staying over at their farm, on an impromptu "snow in".  The kids were ecstatic.

There was a sweet coincidence this weekend, of it being Imbolc or Candlemas, and the arrival of a shipment of wicks and holders with which to make candles.  Jen had beeswax, I had beeswax, and we were set to make some special, intoxicatingly wonderful-smelling candles.

We used toilet paper rolls as our molds, with duct tape at the bottom to hold in the wax.  We learned the hard way that in addition to placing two pieces cross-wise to each other across the bottom, you need to also wrap around the tube at the bottom, sealing any creases or holes through which the wax might escape.

So beautiful and sweet, the smell of warm beeswax.

Everyone was a bit too keyed up for more than a moment of reverent "ahhhh!" when we lit them later that night.  Traditionally, Imbolc can be a time of setting intentions, a time to plant seeds, in a literal way of starting seeds indoors and readying the earth for later spring planting, and figuratively, as a sort of new year of growth for yourself.  

My mind and heart freeze a bit when I think of setting intentions for the year; there is something both exciting to me and very unsettling in the unknown.  I do much better with the day-by-day, the tending of small things, but maybe in that there is an intention to find some constancy in our daily life, as we approach the roller coaster.  Nurturing new growth, feeding curiosity, being present and not "checked out" as we start to gently pull up roots.  Tending to the emotional ride of the coming months, and finding ways to more deeply nourish myself, taking care of my body in ways that steady the moods and feed my brain.

These are the nuggets I'm mulling over in my heart.  Are there seeds you are wanting to plant for yourself right now?


merry said...

Oh honey, do I ever know where you are in this moment of your life!! Moving every 3-5 years for 24 years put me in that roller coaster seat, wondering what was next, who was in that next, did I really have to say good bye to the now? But life goes on and you are richer for the years you've lived in that loving community and the friends who will always be in your life no matter where next is. But scary? Damn right! Change of any kind is always scary, but it's also growth, and who knows that better than you? I love you.

merry said...

Beautiful candles! And thanks for hangingout with me today.

Anonymous said...

i love your photos and I loved learning about imbolc!

I try to be present and not "checked out"...sometimes I am better at it than others.

Stephanie said...

A lovely time with friends.
I guess that's all we can do... make the days sweet, and do our best to love often and well.
But it's hard to live in This moment. :)