The beginning of February brings several holidays in various traditions, including Candlemas, St Brigids Day, Groundhog Day, and the Celtic festival of Imbolc. Personally, I celebrate Imbolc, an agriculturally based date between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Common imagery includes milk, lambing, the Celtic goddess Brigid - the arts, creativity, the hearth - and fire.
In my practice, Imbolc is an opportunity to build a fire, drink foraged tea, and birth new ideas and intentions for the new year. What seeds will I plant, both figuratively and literally? What do I wish to create? With each trip around the sun, I have come to recognize that creativity is just as much a creation of something ‘new’ as it is a reenvisioning, a new understanding, of something ‘old’.
Accordingly, then, when I consider planting seeds, I must also consider what seeds have already been planted and how best to harvest their bounty. What riches already grow around, and inside, us which merely require recognition?
Vibrant creative power arises from recognizing entrenched narratives and mindfully changing one's perspective. As a lover of nature, I used to want only to be a farmer; after preparing to be a marine biologist, and then a theologian. But today the thought of clearing and sowing and watering and weeding and pruning and reaping holds far less allure than simply walking outside in the cultivated fields and gathering the wild gifts flourishing - unaided and untended- all around me.
I was raised with many stories, and quite a few concerned weeds and invasive species. But my life has shown me that our notions, of our inner and outer worlds, fall startling short. Reality is far more complex than our understandings of such.
As the earth around us quickens, I invite you to join me for one of our foraging classes; let us gather the harvest constantly growing around us, untended and unappreciated. Let us realize how little we know before learning something new. The fires of great creativity come from gazing around with clear, fresh eyes.