Living in the Pacific Northwest, with a climate similar to that of Ireland, I follow the Celtic wheel of the year. This past week, on February 2nd, was Imbolc. Imbolc and three other points on the wheel of the year, are known as “cross-quarterly” holidays, each six weeks after a Solstice or an Equinox. These cross-quarterly holidays are the transitions between one season and the next. Imbolc is the time of the year when we stand on the threshold between winter and spring.
For many, February 2nd may seem too early for spring’s return, but I see the subtle changes that whisper the suggestion of the shift. I take notice of the small but sturdy – and ever-repeating signs – of the earth’s return: the slight swell of buds on trees, the new slant of the sun, the clearness of the birds’ song. I liken this time of year to the earth awakening from her winter slumber. Perhaps she’ll hit the snooze button with another dump of snow. Perhaps she’ll wake up quickly. Time will tell. But wake up she will and come summer she will regale us with her brilliance.
Standing at these thresholds of the seasons serves as a metaphor for me to look at my own life and the doors I am currently walking through. As I stand at the threshold of spring, I am aware of the ways I am waking up to my true nature. I don’t want to be like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day — remember? (Not a coincidence that that date is February 2nd, as well). He had to walk through the day over and over until he realized he is a loving creature. It was only then that his life could move on.
One of the thresholds on which I now stand is as the author of my own book. I have felt like Bill Murray during the long, arduous process of writing my book. I have left and come back to this project numerous times until I could feel secure that I have something to say. I actually finished the book in December, 2010 and then I left it alone for a year. I only recently returned to it and finally decided to have someone edit it, which I started last month. I anticipate that the editing process will be finished by the end of March. Then it will be time to find an agent and a publishing house.
The changing of the seasons is a gradual process, the shift doesn’t happen overnight. Nor do books get published overnight. I’ll be patient with the process as I am in waiting for summer’s return, and just as full of excitement.