We are approaching Imbolc (the origin of the word being “Ewe’s Milk”) the beginning of Spring. A time for clearing the hearth of the old ash of winter and rekindling the flame.
If you find that January is a sad and sluggish month; the new year’s resolutions and the fire of hope at New Year turn out just to be a flare that dies away to barely an ember; take heart, because this time is just that; the embers of the year’s cycle are bedding down to ash, the fire is sleeping.
If you have ever tried to keep a log burner going when you haven’t cleared the ash you will know that no amount of fuel or heat is going to produce a sustainable fire; some ash is OK but as the layer deepens there is no air, no through flow. There comes a time when you need to allow the fire to die out and cool so you can remove that ash layer and start again.
Building your new fire in a clean hearth, starting with the paper and the kindling, the smallest steps; the spark, patience, allowing the bigger pieces of fuel to catch once they are ready and not before.
It’s a metaphor that works for any project or even simply for our internal fire; just putting fuel and flame together does not make for success; there is the CRAFT. The fire craft. And we have to clear ourselves of the ash of our past, of the year gone, of the regrets and resentments. Then slowly, tenderly rebuild our hearth and forge.
The invitation is to be kind. That concept of tending, tenderly mending, go softly, go slowly. Because spring is not yet dawning.
To be continued…