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 for a long time I 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 have to come out of the snooze-zone. It’s the time between times, when, literally or figuratively, 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, intentionally or by accident.
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
Celebrating Imbolc 2017 by Amy Brucker, acrylic on canvas
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.
Yesterday was Imbolc, (i-MOLG–a possible reference to ewe’s milk) marking a period of transition.
Not quite winter, not quite spring, Imbolc alerts us that it’s nearly time for winter to put away her coat and spring to fluff 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.
In the northern hemisphere, 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. This is true in all of nature, and that includes us.
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, whether that’s with a person, place, or your career.
And if you’re mindful, you’ll say more yeses when the Billys of life show up and never have to wonder, “What if…”