Winter's light is fleeting on the gale scoured earth. Beating rain, rain to snow, nothing grows. A dreary sky reflects a bleak landscape -- and it is here that we find our Selves.
To those inclined toward the ways of the Celts and their forebears, winter holds sway from Samhain on November 1 to Imbolg on February 1, the advent of spring. In that barren period, food and warmth are scarce for those who live off the land. Swathed in the winter shroud of the Cailleach, Nature offers little comfort.
Winter's tenure can be deceptive. On the agricultural calendar, the season can be mercifully short, the killing darkness lasting three or four months. But the human spirit can experience winter for a season, a year or what seems a lifetime.
Winter, like each season of life, descends upon us for a reason. Nature requires rest and an opportunity to cast off chaff in order to grow anew. Some of us welcome the fallow times of life as an opportunity to reflect and refresh in our too-busy world. Others go astray from season after season of downward spiraling into bitter cold, loneliness and depression -- to these souls, life becomes a colourless exercise in progressive numbness.
Once one has lost his or her path in a blizzard, the reasons for being there in the first place become rather insignificant. The goal of life is the living of it, lost or found. The object of living is consciousness. What becomes important is first recognizing the blizzard and then finding a way out -- clawing and kicking with reddened eyes turned to the skies.
Winter has and will always accompany mankind -- regardless of station, continent or century. The remedy for the malaise of unending winter is the rekindling of light within the darkened heart. The spark awakens the sleeping Self, quickening the dormant seeds of metamorphic processes long sown.
The maiden goddess of the Celts, Brigit, emanates the regenerative light of spring. Her light grants order to the seemingly irreconcilable seasons of winter and summer, providing a psychic bridge for those who have spent too much time in a frozen world. Spring will come and with it, unforeseen solutions to those who undertake the hard work of honing the soul.
Paint your life in vivid strokes. Refuse to let your senses be shuttered by the culture or its ominous politics. Be loud, be heard, be still. Breathe out the stale coolness of the past and breathe in the warm rich oxygen of the present.
The tempestuous wind whirls by, arousing a season yet unknown. Soft rain will fall again as lightning stirs the soul. Welcome Brid, welcome spring. Awaken!
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