As I write this, the Gaelic festival of Imbolc has literally just begun.  It is also just after Groundhog Day and the Christian festival of Candlemas.  I find that these holidays share a common theme:  Hope.

The feature image I chose for this post shows Snowdrops, also called Candlemas Bells, and they are said to symbolize Hope.  Peeking their delicate blooms up through the snow crystals, I should say!

Imbolc marks the time halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox — and the celebration honors the goddess Brigid,  She is considered the patroness of poetry, smithing, medicine, arts and crafts, livestock, and spring.  There is a lot of hope involved in these areas, for sure!  Imbolc is also the beginning of Spring: the lambs are growing inside the ewes; there is the hope of the returning light, the lengthening days,  new- and rebirth.

Groundhog Day.  Most of us hope the groundhog will indicate the end of winter is near…  Did you see the movie with Bill Murray?  I suggest that it’s worth watching.  Laughter, poignancy, and some lessons.  We hope Bill Murray learns his lessons, finally gets it that if he keeps walking down the same street, he’s likely to step in the same puddle!  (The poem, I Walk Down the Street is one of my faves.  About learning our lessons.  We hope!)

Stepping back a little bit:  Hope gets mixed press.  Spiritually speaking it is sometimes dissed.  Hope can be what we do when we’re not content or accepting of the present moment.  Certainly there is a kind of hope that wishes things were different, that agonizes, aches for something else, and that can tie us into a cycle of desire and disappointment, frustration, and perhaps powerlessness.  This is not the flavor of hope about which I am writing!

When I feel Hope, I do sometimes feel an ache.  But as I feel into it, I notice that Hope has Love at its core.  I hope we can find a way of being on the planet that is respectful of all life, that moves us toward sustainability and equity, toward the light, in its many manifestations.  This Hope honors, even celebrates, difference, delights in community, has a vision of common good, promotes healing.  I hope for the Great Turning.  This Hope, sourced in Love, has Power and Action in it.  Like a waterfall!

May the coming of Spring see your hopes realized, and the accelerated building of the necessary Critical Mass for real social and environmental change, rooted in Love.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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