The last dying light of the day and the world is utterly still. A bubble of absolute silence within and underneath distant traffic noise. At this distance, it could be the sound of surf. It doesn’t matter. Here, right here, it’s so quiet I can hear the great blue heron feeding a long wing feather through that impossible beak as she grooms herself. She just landed moments ago, in that awkward way they have, all gangly stick legs that somehow never tangle in the branches as they land, just a whisper of feathers and perhaps an incongruous squawk. It’s the eve of the pagan festival of Imbolc, the exact midway point between winter solstice and vernal equinox, one-quarter of the way between longest night and longest day. It’s a time of deep rest, deep silence, deep listening. It’s a balance point in the Wheel of the Year, a suspended moment, on the way to becoming but not there yet. Dreaming the future, not planning it. On this night, the goddess stirs gently in her sleep, turning over, perhaps. The goddess dreams, resting, fallow, underground — like the groundhog who may peek from its burrow briefly before turning back to the quiet dark. Yet the wheel of the year is already turning, surely, relentlessly towards the light, as it has been for six weeks now. But for now, there is deep stillness. I can hear it when I pause and hold myself perfectly still. I listen with my heart, with my feet, with my bare feet on bare earth, on the body of the goddess, as she lies fallow. I listen. I listen to the deep restful dark silence with every cell of my being. I hear the steady quiet breathing of the earth, feel the soft steady heartbeat of the goddess beating in my own throat, gently gently turning towards the light, dreaming a new day.
Photo credit: Copyright © 2018 Tunde Nemeth