Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos. We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.At this time of the year, it’s not the season for growth in the northern hemisphere. My garden is covered under a thick white blanket of snow, and icicles hang from the eaves. Like my cats, I prefer to experience the winter through a window, enjoying the stark beauty of leafless trees against grey sky and white snow as a contrast to the color and warmth within.
It’s a time of turning inward and reflecting, taking care of things indoors, and resting up from the busy holiday season. There will be another holiday soon enough; Imbolc sometimes seems to arrive before I’m quite done getting over Yule! For now, though, it’s time to do some other work. It is the season of seed catalogs. The mail carrier brought some of them. Others I find by getting online. Either way, I’m sitting over seed catalogs and considering.
I can’t consider the coming year without considering what I did last year. Did that lettuce prove too heat sensitive? Did I plant too much zucchini? Do I want to repeat the experiment with planting the garlic near the rosebushes? I also have to consider my situation. My garden plot is very small. A decision to introduce a new vegetable may mean not growing something else this year. Some perennials are already taking up a certain amount of room, and must be considered as I plan. I have to consider my zone, my soil, the light that falls on my back yard, the rainfall and heat pattern that generally happens here.
But when I’m looking through the gardening catalog at first, I don’t think about all that. I just enjoy. All this potential! All these things that could be! And it’s important to look without filters, because I might find something that I never would have expected. They might have actually developed a cold-tolerant dwarf fig tree.
This is the season to do this with our lives. Before you plan next year’s projects and wedge them into the space that is allowed by your current life....look with an open mind. There may be a beginner’s art class that will let you open up and draw again. Maybe you can start taking a simple walk around the block every night, even if a gym commitment is too much. Maybe you can carve out time every day to sit and just be present with the gods.
And then, yes, then plan your garden of life with your consideration of your responsibilities to your spouse, your kids, your job, your outside interests. Just leave room for the possibility of that fig tree of Something You Can Have After All. The gods delight in presenting us with opportunities, and it’s sad when we can’t even see them because we aren’t looking, because we ruled that out already. Never rule out the possibilities the gods can offer to change and enrich the story of our lives.
And enjoy the indoors. Enjoy your house, your family, the natural inward current of this time of year. Take the outside as you can in a breath of air as you run to the mailbox, or a well-wrapped walk, or a breathless slide down the hill or a snowball fight with the kids. And enjoy the process of planning for the spring, even as you will enjoy the spring when it comes.
I bless you with the crisp air, the warm hearthfire, the snow melting on your cheeks, and the sleeping earth. May the love of the Lord and the peace of the Lady go in our hearts always. Blessed be.