Winter, Hibernation and Looking Inward
On the 5th February, the Northern Hemisphere entered into Imbolc - the mid point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox (traditionally called Ostara). It is a seasonal celebration that modern life may normally overlook but a significant landmark for those living in the new ‘normal’ of the 2020s, with its uncertainties and pressures.
Imbolc and its place on the Celtic Wheel of the Year dates back to the 10th century, when our deep connections to nature would have created internal resilience and external hardiness in us as we passed through the seasonal challenges before us. We were a part of nature rather than seeing it as separate.
Imbolc invites us to leave behind us what we no longer need just as the last few weeks bring snow to the ground but more sun above our heads and lighter, longer days. It celebrates perseverance, patience, personal development, renewal and introspection - apt sentiments for this period of modern history.
Lost deep within our own extended pandemic hibernation it’s easier to see how life 1000 years ago could have been as we embrace the wintry, frozen walks we perhaps would have declined to take before they became our only contact with the outside world. Walking around my neighbourhood I am heartened to see people of all ages embracing nature on even her most brutal days. Nature has nourished us more than ever before, on every level.
Each day I return home invigorated, encouraged and grateful. Grateful for the warmth of home, for the beauty I have witnessed, for the robins, squirrels, crows and sheep that have punctuated my walk and inspired my creativity. Next time you are in nature see if you can find the first buds on branches, the splash of colour the crocus brings to the frost, the motivation of the daffodils’ stems as they burst skyward.
We too shall rise again, with the learnings of winter behind us, ready for the new beginnings of spring.
Inspired to embrace the last few weeks of this beautiful winter?
Why not listen to ‘Winter Whisper’ from my album ‘Equinox’ just here?