Eagles and Ospreys and Imbolic ~ By Ann Dolbier
This is what the Lord says: “Stand in the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 NIV
We call it Spring. The Celts called it Imbolc. It is the time of year when the northern half of the earth awakens again, as it always does, from its long slumber. Last year seemed to be doing the same. Then we were confined to our homes and the normal seasonal things like baseball and barbeques could not happen. Days seemed to melt into each other, one after another, the way butter or chocolate melts in a warm pan and loses its shape. I ordered some plant pots for our balcony and snuck out to a nursery for petunias. I tried to make life seem a little naturally normal. In the evenings, my husband faithfully howled beside the flowers.
Last year, about the same time, a nesting pair of eagles made the news when another female eagle joined them and the new female ran off the old one, who was never to be seen again. A pair of nesting Osprey lost two chicks for an unknown reason. Wildlife officials cleaned up the old nest hoping that any contaminant causing last years’ disaster could be avoided this year.
In a recent issue of the Denver Post we learned that last year’s eagle couple have arrived at their nest. The female osprey has also arrived, without her mate, and has begun to rebuild their nest. It is usual for the male to arrive later. What is not usual is that a new male has been bringing sticks and a fish to share with her. Amid all the other news that day: genocide, petty politicians, avalanche takes another life, multiple shootings that authorities are trying to comprehend, four birds are going about doing what birds do during Imbolc.
A dear friend called: “Would you like to go to the Botanical Gardens?” The tiniest of spring bulbs were blooming. Tulips and daffodils were awakening and pushing through the dark earth moist from a recent snow. We sat on a bench in the warm sun watching and listening to a large water feature. Our casual conversation deepened to more soulful subjects in that atmosphere of tranquility. The day seemed to be touched by the gentle caress of the Creator.
Back home a different reality exists. Our senior community is beginning to open. Family-in-apartment visits (two at a time only) can be scheduled, and apartments will be fogged with disinfectants within 24 hours. Our city lies within three counties with differing
restrictions. Which do we follow? We long to be “normal” again. Yet normal seems so elusive. How will we discern “normal”? Look to the ancient ways.
Celtic Spirituality encourages me to look for the Divine in nature; in the natural cycle of life. The Celtic cycle does not need to seek “normal”; it is normal. It is ancient. It assures me that life is a continuous journey, and the Divine is the heart of all creation.
Will we look for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it? The Celtic seasons offer what we need: rest and restoration, new life, productivity, harvest, and a time to rest once more.
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