Today is Brigid’s Eve, one of those halfway days in the year. Partway between Solstice and Equinox, it’s one of those moments in the year’s turning that gives us a breathing space to pause and take stock. The light has been growing again for six weeks, and my winter-dulled consciousness is now catching up, now finally noticing the way day begins to spread out wider before me.
Tomorrow morning, amid all the goofiness that surrounds the moment here in Pennsylvania, we will take note of whether a largish rodent will or will not notice her shadow, and we will use that to predict the ending of the winter season. Six weeks from now is the beginning of May, and no matter which way the shadows fall today, spring will be here by then.
If I take my seat in my comfortable burrow with the groundhogs for the moment and consider what light may arrive at my doorstep by tomorrow morning, I find myself considering what there is within me that may need to be drawn into the light, and what must remain protected in the inky space behind me. Can I find the courage to look into the aching indigo of my own shadows?
It’s a fine enough question to ask: Will the groundhog see its shadow? But try to turn it around, and ask yourself: Will I see my own?
1. All that music yesterday. In the morning–singing, singing. The String Band in the evening. Watching the children watch the band. They loved the song about sandwiches. So glad Santa finally brought them a banjo or two, but I’m sad that the trade-off was the double bass.
2. Vulnerability. People who model vulnerability and open-heartedness.
3. Courage. Couer (old French for heart). Couer-age. En-couer-age-ment: Enheartening.
4. Making new friends who seem like old friends.
5. Looking into the teeth of the questions.
Take Courage. Take Heart.