With Imbolc drawing closer, I feel that it is time to set intentions for this beautiful time of year.
I stand in the darkness….silent among the stark trees….. there is no sign yet of the rising sap, and stillness cloaks the grove, not even a murmur of song ripples the air. The winter has been long, my dark hair lies matted and silvered, my once fine cloak is torn and muddied with the journey, my wisdom is given, my duties are over, I am spent, exhausted and cold. I weep for a past that I have lost, and the pain of my breaking heart that none but I can feel…….a lonely drifting woman, on a sea of indigo blue. I have listened to the stars speak their holy song, as I have striven to hear the word of god beneath them and I have searched in their sparkling faces for the hidden signs and portents secreted within their orbits. The final map has cleverly evaded me, even though I have been hunting all this time, for where is the buried treasure that I have sought? I have dug deep till my hands have bled, and the wriggling worms are sick of my scrapings, but although I have found much…these things have left me now, and I feel empty, lost and uncertain.
Crystals and round charms adorn my hearth but black iron tools I lack, for what is beauty without strength? I long to burn in the fire of the darkness, to be reformed and have the pain assuaged from my soul, to turn to face the west wind, with the breath of God behind me and draw the very stars down upon my head like a wedding veil, and pledge my life to you.
I stand waiting, empty and ready, in the darkness of the stark trees, no sign yet of the rising sap. And then in the silence I hear something… a cracking twig… a footfall, and I turn to see who is come.
The Invitation of the God
I stand still, in the whisper of the dawn…surrounded by the still darkened forest…..and I see her there, my Bride, my beloved. She looks tired this year, perhaps more tired than usual… her dark hair glints with silver in the darkness, and her shoulders stoop slightly. She always looks so, at Imbolc, but my heart still skips when I see her, my yearning for her never leaving me, always returning, in this eternal dance of love we play. For I want her to come with me and to show her a land where time stands still, where angels flow in rivers strewn with silver stars, that span across the galaxy. Suns and planets will measure the depth of our unity as we discover the rhythm of our life together once again. I want her to walk with me in the garden of forever, and to eat the fruits of forgetfulness, where none will heed us as we tarry in the shade of oak trees bare of leaves in the dusk of winter’s discontent. And we will clothe the earth once more with green, the sap will rise and the earth will welcome us home with open arms.
I stand waiting for her to turn. A twig snaps under my foot, breaking the silence of the grove, and she turns to face me, finally, and it seems like forever that it has taken me to find her once again, my woman, my goddess, my Bride.
I stand apart, amongst the bare trees, on the edge of the grove, a silent witness to this holy act. I watch them standing there in the pale early light, as they slowly walk towards each other. Bride steps carefully through the trees, and the cares and worries of her winter past start to fall away from her, scattering like dead leaves on the forest floor. Her hair begins to gleam with the lustrous glow of youth, and her silver strands fade away to raven as her steps quicken. She moves faster, growing taller, and stronger, slimmer and suppler, until at the end, she is running with the fleetness of a young fawn, into her lovers arms.
They stand for a moment… foreheads touching… the silent communion of two who have been long parted…and then they turn and walk quickly away, disappearing into the dawn, as the sap in the black trees begins to rise, and the snowdrops push their heads out of the dark earth to welcome the virgin queen.