Imbolc: a poem


“Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems” – Rainer Maria Rilke



I am the dream of awakening.

I am the returning of the light.

I am the tough green shoot pushing up through the pavestones, I am the first kiss of sunlight on the unfurling petals of the snowdrop. I am the wind which whispers the gentle pull of home to the migratory bird.

I am the drop of ice melting on the mountainside with its great dream of the ocean.

I am the sap rising in the blossom tree just before it reveals its sticky buds to the sky; I am the riotous celebration humming away beneath the earth’s mantle of frozen sleep.

I am the rousing of the bee from its winter slumber, and the soft pad of the mother-wolf’s paw on the snow as she prepares to birth her pups.

I am hope, potential, rebirth and promise. I am the kindling breath which transforms the flicker of inspiration in your creative core into a blazing torch.

Give me the silent crescent moon rising over the sea and I will build you a bridge of silver light so you can walk up and lie in it.

Give me the frost-hardened wilderness and I will breathe radiant green life over it.

Give me the healer, the writer, the craftsperson and the storyteller, and I will replenish her essence and make her new again.

I am Brigid, Bast, Inanna and Hestia. I am the fierce protectress of the sacred fire.

Tonight I bestow my gifts of power and courage at the hearth of your soul: power to step out of the shadows of self-doubt and negativity which have held you in darkness for too long, power to shed all that which no longer serves you, and courage to clear your heart and mind for the dawn that awaits you.

I am the time to honor your unique gifts for their true worth and to protect and nurture your creative self as you would a child. I am the deep longing of the spirit which refuses to be consumed by a narrative of fear and chooses instead to place itself vivaciously on the side of love.

I am the stirring in your belly which knows exactly what you are capable of — and that it’s time the world found out.

I am the fire within which will not be contained any longer.

I am the quickening, I am the serpent uncoiling, I am Imbolc.

I am the dream of awakening.

Originally published on Rebelle Society at

New Moon, New Year

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ~ Albert Camus

Yesterday I walked through a churchyard teeming with snowdrops. I stopped to watch a bumblebee rolling around in the pollen of a clump of crocus flowers, a technicolour explosion against the dank brown earth.

I walked beside the fast-flowing, tidal river which ebbs and turns and reverses its flow with the cycles of the moon. I felt the cool air reach the bottoms of my lungs and the fresh, oxygenated blood redden my cheeks and the sinews of my hips begin to loosen as I set intentions for the new moon and the year ahead.

The light is slowly returning to my shade-shrouded, north-facing courtyard garden. Flowers come later there than they do to sunnier spots, but the sharp little beaks of the tulip bulbs I planted in the autumn are poking their heads up, hungry for the light, along with the green shoots of narcissus, alium and bluebell which wait eagerly for spring. Colour and song comes from the bluetits, blackbirds and robins which grace my bird-feeder every day, along with my favourites, the starlings – chattering, shimmering green and purple creatures who gather over the sea at sunset to swarm in beautiful murmurations known in Scandinavia as the Sol Sot (Black Sun), a dance of collective joy which looks, I have always thought, like classical music in motion.

On crisp, sparkling mornings the low sun breaks through the February clouds and catches the underside of the needles on the Scotch Pine tree, making them glisten with gold. It’s a time of great hope and promise, a feeling which inspired a recent piece I had published on Rebelle Society:

I love the winter; the time of darkness and dreaming, of turning inward, reflecting and gestating new ideas. But the world is changing; spring is coming. Today is a new moon which heralds the start of the Chinese New Year and also the Tibetan New Year celebration of Losar.

My personal intentions this year are around finding peace and stillness – refuge from the storm – through yoga, meditation and the harmony of nature, cultivating my creative voice, and nurturing contentment in my friendships and family life. I’m also hoping to have lots of fun! But more specifically, I intend to make more time to write and to get more work published, to send my words out into the world and see where they take me. It is the season to plant seeds of love, change and inspiration in the fertile ground. What intentions are you setting at this potent time?