Imbolc is a strange holiday here in Alaska, because even though the light is starting to return (2 hours since the Winter Solstice!), there are no other signs of spring return, nor are there likely to be any anytime soon. Until last year, I never really acknowledged Imbolc as it didn’t seem to fit into my seasonal cycle.
Last year it occurred to me that Imbolc is the perfect time to make resolutions. By New Years I am still whirling from Christmas and usually planning two birthday parties. This puts me in no place for real reflection. By the beginning of February, I have had time, and darkness, and quiet enough to think about what I want to bring with me into the year. Imbolc is celebrated in honor of the Irish goddess Brigid, and her double emphasis on home & hearth, and creativity already make me think about what I want to be and do better.
Last year at Imbolc I decided I wanted to learn to do some things badly. I have a tendency to only want to things I am good at and avoid anything in which I might not excel. I did learn to both knit and run badly – badly enough to hurt myself even, but I found both learning experiences enjoyable, valuable, and freeing. Kicking off the expectation of excellence was uncomfortable at first, but it allowed me to explore interests in a new way, and opened up whole areas that I had always felt were off limits. I also learned to be a service lay leader this year, and I hope I am not doing it badly. It is really important to me that I do that one well, or move out of the way and let someone else do it better.
Here are three things I am focusing on this Imbolc.
1. Learning to do last year’s projects well. While I enjoyed the liberation I felt in learning those new skills, I want to get better at them rather than coasting. I also want to learn to do new things badly. I’m not sure what those things will be yet, but maybe when I am ready, a teacher will appear.
2. I want to write more without worrying about the readers’ reception. I spend way too much time second guessing what people think about what I write and not enough time writing. This might even fall under #1 as well.
3. 2012 will involve a lot of changes in my house. Tall Daughter E will be an adult this summer and she and I will need to find a new way of living together as two adult women. This might be a big learning curve. I am not sure how to do this, but she is important enough to me to figure it out. Tiny Daughter M will start middle school later this year and I will have no more small children. I need to learn how to parent through this transition.
Here is to more learning, writing, and adjusting in 2012. Check out the 7th annual online poetry festival for Brigid here. For those of you who celebrate, what does Imbolc bring to you?
*Patricia Kennealy Morrison referred to this holiday last night on Facebook as Brighnasa, as the counterpart to Lughnasa in August. I like it, and may use it in the future.