Yet, beneath the snows of winter, beneath the rain-soaked ground, Mother Earth is stirring. Life is quickening. The daffodils blooming in my yard are “too early,” the old ones say. “Unseasonably warm.” “Unseasonably cold,” say others. The passage of time, of the seasons, simply is. I can change nothing, I say.
There is a quickening within me too, a faint catch in the breath as I see the redbud trees wisp their soft leaves against a crimson winter sunset. Tight buds on the azaleas hold promise of a riot of colors to come. I envision new pots of herbs, a different variety of tomato to try, plans for early lettuces.
In my head, Spring is almost here.
In my heart, I know I need to be fully present in this minute. I breathe deeply the fragrance of soaked earth and rejoice in this time of waiting. I know I need not be expectant, but rather truly accepting of what enfolds me at this moment in time.
As much as the Greek mother goddess Demeter longed for her daughter Persephone’s return from the underworld each spring, she understood that Persephone’s time to rise would come when it was meant to come. And so she waited.
As anxious as the Welsh mother goddess Cerridwen was for the magic potion in her cauldron to be finished for her son Morfran to drink, she knew a year and a day was required for completion. And so she waited.
But there comes a time when the winds shift, blowing soft and warm, and Mother Earth awakens, Persephone reenters our world, and Cerridwen’s brew is ready. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, in her wonderful work Women Who Run with the Wolves says, “When it’s time, it’s time.”
In the meantime, I give thanks for this moment, this fallow time.