Saturday, February 02, 2008

Thoughts on a Snowy Imbolc

Whether you tend a garden or not, you are the gardener of your own being,the seed of your destiny. - The Findhorn Community

Today is Groundhog's Day, Candlemas, Imbolc. It's often represented by images of candles and fuzzy new lambs to show that this is a day to celebrate the first return of spring. But around here, it's way too early for spring to start setting up for business in any way. Spring might knock on the door, but winter isn't really ready to vacate the premises. Spring is going to be setting down it's suitcases and waiting on the step for awhile longer.

There's another image that is used to represent this holiday, and it's the one that resonates most strongly for me. Seeds.

O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth.
- John Davies, 1570-1626, Ode to the West Wind.

Before you can have new life, whether that be a flower, a lamb, a baby, a book, a painting, a quilt..., you have to have the seeds of that creation.

Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.
- Shigenori Kameoka

This is the time of year to remember that those seeds are there. Like spring at the door, with her warm breezes and green growing things and windows flung open still tucked away inside the suitcases she's sitting on, you can't see the seeds yet. Before you can see them, or see what springs from them, you have to remember that they're there.

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has
been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed
there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.
- Henry David Thoreau

Seeds are very fragile things. If you don't give them the proper amount of time and care, they might not germinate. A certain percentage simply aren't viable or have the wrong conditions in which to grow. Or they might germinate and then, untended, shrivel up before even peeking that first tender shoot above ground. Even then, if they break out of the soil in which they are planted, there are a great numbers of things waiting to pluck them out and destroy them before they can grow any larger - new ideas face critics and busy schedules, people who fear change or the untidiness of new growth, as well as our own fear and insecurities. Yes, at some point we have to look at what is growing in our gardens and, for the health and survival of it as a whole, some of those seeds will have to be be intentionally weeded and thinned.

One for the rock, one for the crow,
One to die, and one to grow.
- English saying

But now, at Imbolc, is not the time to worry ahead. Now is the time for remembering, for stirrings, for imagining and planting. Before the coming warmth and rain and nutrients in the soil all around us can create the magic of spring, we must honor and acknowledge the silent seeds laying in wait.

Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.
- E. B. White

If you see that there are no seeds waiting to stir in your life, now is the time to choose them, plant them, make a conscious commitment to nuture them and help them grow.

I ask not for a larger garden, but for finer seeds.
- Russell H.Conwell

There is a quote "The blessing is in the seed." - Muriel Rukeyser. I would add that preceding that, "the seed is in the blessing". Bless your seeds today, and see what grows from that act.

Think small.
Planting tiny seeds in the small space given you
Can change the whole world or,
At the very least, your view of it.
- Linus Mundy


Blogger catsmum said...

what a nice collection of quotes - I'll have to remember them in 6 months when we get the equivelant seasonal change.

9:04 PM  

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