There is bitter cold and death...
... and there are sunny spots and life.
It's the feast of Candlemas, the story of presenting the baby Jesus at the Temple and the prophecies of Anna and Simeon.
And it's St Brigid's Day and Imbolc, the time of 'stirrings in the belly'. The time for making reed crosses and bridie dolls...
What a confluence of stories and traditions across times and cultures...
It is a powerful, in-and-out-of-time, kind of day!
In the northern hemisphere, it is the beginnings of Spring and lengthening days. And I, for one, am so glad the long, dark month of January has passed, and the light is returning!
I love how the sun's rays are just catching the head of the wee bridie doll above to give her a halo!!
Here's the closing blessing of Christine Valters Paintner's Stirring in the Belly mini retreat for today:
May you feel the seeds in your belly rumbling
as they yearn to break open and release new life.
May the breaking open of these seeds be
an earthquake shifting the plates of your soul.
May you notice the tiny green shoots
breaking through the ground of your awareness.
May you feel the pull of your very being
reaching toward the abundance of God,
as the stem is drawn toward the sunlight.
May you experience the unfurling of your petals
one by one in a blaze of color.
May you feel yourself stretched wide
in a posture of welcoming to all that is yet to be spoken within you.
As your petals fall gently to the ground
May you remember that after blossoming
Comes the journey toward fruit.