The Quickening

I went outside this morning with Reba-girl and discovered the most beautiful, spring day. Sunny and warm, with that kind of freshness that only hangs around in spring.

It’s a bit early, of course. I’m pretty sure our trees are going to be very confused. But that’s nothing new around here.

It’s interesting timing for me, pesonally. Today is Brigit, one of eight holy days in my spiritual tradition. It’s the mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The Quickening, we call it.

In winter (in the northern hemisphere, anyway), the earth is fallow. The soil rests and replenishes itself. If there are seeds in the ground, they lie dormant.

But then something happens. Something stirs inside them. A quiet, lightless spark ignites, so subtle it can hardly be perceived but with the power of a locomotive, for from barren stillness will grow a plant that feeds or a mighty tree.

That something is the Quickening.

And we begin to perceive, finally, the growing length of days (though, in truth, they have been lengthening since the winter solstice).

In my tradition, this natural phenomenon is seen as a metaphor for the cycles and seasons of humans. By the earth, we are called to settle in and dream during the winter cold, to lean into our communities, to rest and replenish (SO profoundly not the stress, shopping, and sleeplessness of the typical holiday season!). There in the literal dark, when hours of daylight are naturally scarce, our dreams are at leisure to emerge and evolve. They play off each other, expand, contract… like an eternal blossom ever unfolding.

And then, the Quickening.

Our dreams begin to coalesce into clear visions. The most fervent of those visions rise to the forefront of our consciousness and their brilliance, so luminous in the darkness, inspires our dedication. They become our priorities, our goals for the coming seasons.  We begin to invest our hearts more and more deeply in those few visions. And that love, that commitment and attention, acts like that same sacred something that awakens the sleeping seeds. Our dreams, like the seeds deep in the earth, germinate.

In accordance with the natural world, those dreams won’t take physical form until spring when, just like the tender sprouts of seeds breaking through the thawed crust of ready soil, they’ll become tangible and real in the world, infantile but poised for growth.

At least, that’s the idea.

So I find myself wondering, what are the dreams that are floating to the forefront, gathering momentum, condensing into potent seeds. Where will I place my devotion? To what will I dedicate myself?

There are two coming to mind in this moment. One is my memoir… My poor, suffering, neglected memoir. The other is a non-profit organization to house my work with women on a shero’s journey. (The campaign to raise funds for my work with Cheri is definitely inspiring me.) And actually, there’s also a third, though it’s vibrating considerably more slowly, and that’s an updated blog/website that reflects the evolution of my work and mission. (Ooooooo, that’s vibrating more swiftly now just for naming it!)

It’s too soon to say where precisely I’ll land. In my perfect world, I’d know this today, but I absolutely do not live in my perfect world! So, I’ll be comfortable with what I do know right now, and watching in the coming days as things evolve. Having asked the question, it’s usually my experience the answer begins to appear.

And you? What dreams are coming forward for you? To what will you dedicate yourself when the light fully returns and all around the natural world, there is birth, growth, and fruition?

(Click here for an update on Cheri’s Shero Fund to Beat Cancer.)

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