At an Imbolc celebration I attended one of the priestesses talked about paying attention to the season we’re in. During the month of February, it may not look like much is happening in the natural world around us. However, underneath the ground seeds are breaking apart, rooting themselves, and drawing nutrients from the soil. It is only when they do this that they can become green plants and beautiful flowers in the spring. She challenged us to spend time this month doing things that “ground” us and make us feel “rooted.” She said we should look for activities that nourish our spirits and make us feel alive and creative.
The other part of this process is that we may have to “die” to something. The seed breaks apart and transforms itself into something new. This is also a part of the growing process as we let go of old, unproductive ways of living and adopt healthier behaviors and habits that are life-giving to us, to nature, and to the people around us.
As we say in the South, “That will preach!” It reminds me of something Jesus said: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). Both Pagans and Christians must undergo this same spiritual process if we are going to grow and become the healers and reconcilers the world needs us to be. It’s not easy to die to our self-centeredness and destructive patterns of living. We love our habits and routines, even if they are killing us! But natures tells us that dying is a part of the process of bring new life into the world.
Jesus also told a parable about four different types of soil. The first three yielded practically nothing but the last seed that was sown, even surprised the farmer. Jesus ended the parable by saying: “Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold” (Mark 4:1-9).
We all need to find good soil in our lives. So, while the chill of winter is still with us, let us find something that helps us to put down deep roots in spiritual soil, so we can emerge in the spring with vitality and “aliveness.”
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