Welcoming stirrings beneath the surface

Seasons are not uniform blocks of time with defined edges. And we rarely step from one into the next over a clearly marked threshold.

Instead, they are a flow. A movement whose surface often belies the eddies obscured from view.

In the Celtic world, Imbolc is the name for the shift occurring around this time when the growth of new life within the hardness of winter is celebrated.

It is still winter, but spring is surely coming.

And I am noticing it here in the valley.

Yes, patches of challenging weather may still come, but the evidence of new growth is peeping through. Including on the stern stems of bramble.

It has been a tough time for us and many others, and I am grateful for the reminder that ‘this too shall pass…’


Hail the quickening of the year;
hail the growing curve showing
on the belly of the earth;
hail the beginning, the dawn-heart singing,
the gorgeous expectancy that the earth
will say amen to the new.

+ Gideon Heugh, from Naming God, 2023

Go gently and seek the quiet hope of new life.

Pause. See differently. Re-story 🌿

This week

A few good words

I am unsure how I managed to miss The Sacred: a podcast about our deepest values, the stories that shape us and how we can build empathy and understanding between people who are very different… I’ve known its host, Elizabeth Oldfield, for a long time and have only just realised what a treasure trove it is!

Rather than starting at the beginning, over 150 episodes ago in 2017, I have worked my way through the most recent season and found the conversations both nourishing and challenging. The conversations with Cole Arthur Riley at Greenbelt or Dr Iain McGilchrist might be good places to dip in. 🌿