First Light has just passed and already the light is shifting in the patterns of shadows through the trees and the stunning beauty of magnolias that bloom just as I am feeling fed up with the dark. I marked First Light very simply by myself this year – setting up an altar with ferns, a white candle, a paua inspired small bowl with a simple white rock in it and a green frog symbolizing cleansing. My reflections focused on questions posed by Juliet Batten.
¬ What needs cleansing and purifying in your life?
¬ What delicate new growth needs your support right now?
¬ What creative action are you inspired to undertake?
¬ What is emerging in you and seeking the light?
The answers that came from these questions lead me onto Spring in this article.
Last Spring I wrote on how in our full and busy lives it is often easy to just survive rather than thrive. One thriving strategy I talked about was to acknowledge the seasons, not just those of nature but also the seasons of our own lives.
This year as spring approaches I am reflecting on my inner spring and anticipating the outer spring. I am also thinking in questions rather than having to have answers or as Thich Nah Hanh has said, “don’t just do something, sit there!” Still a discipline for me I have to say.
So I return to Juliet Batten’s Inner Focus questions for Spring – the ones that appeal to me are:
¬ What new quality, attitude or activity do you want to encourage?
¬ How can you care for the earth?
¬ How can you support what is greening in you right now?
These questions and my responses address inner and outer spring. I am seeking, now I feel more physically at home, to develop my vision for community celebrancy. I am looking to sow the seeds of this with colleagues over the next year. My new home has a number of plants now regarded as noxious weeds by Waitakere City. Our plan this first spring season is to get advice on what needs to be removed and the safest ways of doing this. So this spring will be about clearing the way, getting an idea about what will be needed in our garden in the future. As to what is greening in me – well I am meditating on this and staying open. My spiritual self, my sense of the sacred and a personal connection to the divine are the tendrils of new growth that are active in me.
I have chosen to use Juliet’s Inner focus questions – you could choose your own questions. The important thing from my perspective is to take time, to regroup your self from the depths of winter and claim in your own way the ‘rights’ of spring – renewal, energy, balance and hope.
Batten, Juliet – “CELEBRATING the SOUTHERN SEASONS – Rituals for Aotearoa.” Random House, revised edition, 2005.