I was shopping for groceries when the man smiled at me.
He was hot.
Cooking eggs on a sidewalk in July hot.
And he was walking over, so I reflected on my status.
“Hi.” He said. “You have a great smile.” (I get that a lot, from complete strangers.)
We talked and then he said, “Can I get your number so I can ask you out?”
And I wanted to say yes.
Everything in me wanted to say yes.
So I said…
“No. I broke up with someone recently and I’m not quite ready for that right now. But if you give me your number, I’ll call you.”
To which he replied, “Oh no. That never works! That means you’ll never call.”
I just smiled as he handed me his number.
I planned to call him. Days went by. Then weeks. Then months. Then years. I never called him.
But I always wondered what would’ve happened if I’d called Billy, the guitar playing, blue eyed, brown haired man who lived in Northeast Minneapolis.
Shift Before You Lose Your Opportunity
Looking at the seasons for inspiration can help us navigate the crazy cycles of life.
There’s a time for resting and hibernating. The end of a relationship, for instance, is a dark winter night when all you want to do is sit and read while drinking tea and listening to jazz.
But eventually you reach a time when you gotta come out of the snooze-zone. It’s the time between times, when winter is not quite over and spring hasn’t yet sprung.
This is when we need to pay attention.
Pay attention to the lingering light that’s shining on us.
Pay attention to the seeds we’re planting, whether we’re aware of them or not.
Pay attention to the joy that is standing before us, asking for our number.
Because this in-between time is when things are ripe for shifting, and if you don’t shift consciously, you lose out on the magic of the moment.
And then it’s gone forever.
Celebrating Imbolc: The Transition from Winter to Spring
Maybe if our culture was more integrated with nature we wouldn’t do things like say “no” when the perfect guy asks us out.
Maybe we’d see it as a sign that all is well and that it’s time to move on.
In the tradition of my ancestors, February 2, called Imbolc (i-MOLG–a possible reference to ewe’s milk) marks one of these transitional periods, a time between time.
Not quite winter, not quite spring, Imbolc is the time when winter is putting away her coat and spring is fluffing up her skirts. It marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, and it’s also the period in which we begin to leave the coziness of our hearth and contemplate the seeds we’re going to plant.
Imbolc is one of many shifts in the wheel of seasons. Yet depending on where you live, February may put you knee deep in snow, or standing next to daffodils peeking through the mud. Regardless, spring is on the way.
We can flow easily with the cycles or fight against them. When we embrace the lessons of the seasons, though, we can see that winter must always give way to spring, whether we’re ready for it or not.
What to Do When Imbolc Arrives
Getting into the spirit of the season may help us stay more easily connected to nature and her keen wisdom.
This Imbolc, for instance, I honored the season with some ancestral traditions (and some new). I decorated my house with sheep and put out a bowl of milk as an offering to the land. I made braided bread and a rosemary doll (instead of corn husk…gotta work with what you have). Then had a lovely pea soup for dinner.
Over the next few days, I’ll be adding a splash of spring green to my home decor (think pillows, artwork, linens) and open the windows to let in some fresh air.
I’ll clean the house and sage to release stagnant energy.
And I’ll contemplate the seeds I want to plant when the time is right. The literal seeds, like tomatoes, and the metaphoric seeds, like upcoming teleseminars.
Saying Yes to the Invitations of Life
Not all time-between-time opportunities are ideal, but when they come it’s helpful to be mindful that they may be a sign of the inner transition from winter to spring, from end-of-relationship to falling-in-love.
And if you’re mindful, you’ll say more yeses when the Billys of life show up and never have to wonder, “What if…”