I wake, just as the skies beginning to lighten. Words are flowing through my mind, sentences writing themselves in that moment of quiet before I get out of bed. I heed the call and rise, willing to show up and let the words flow into being on a page. A lovely piece on Imbolc and the wheel of the year forming, seemingly on its own. I get dressed, fill my pockets with stone allies for the day and go down stairs. I quietly pull a simple breakfast together and then sit down in front of the computer.
I begin to type. I stop. I begin to type again. I stop again. That is when I see that somehow in the less that thirty minutes from when I woke to when I sat down at the computer the beautiful flowing river of words has exploded into a fractured, tangled, splattered mess. Broken. Lost. I keep trying. I know it’s not always easy. I know I just need to show up. But as I struggle it is as if I am trying to stack house sized boulders to build my sentences. They resist. I resist. I begin to crumble, just like the words, just like the sentences. Now I am broken, a scattered mess of a writer whose inner critic begins to rise and shout and beat me down all the more. You’re too eclectic in your subjects, the inner critic says. You don’t settle into one voice or style, you’re all over the place, she needles. Your writing dreams are too varied, she says. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously, she asks. I feel these pokes as physically as if she were solid and standing there beside me. My throat begins to tighten and a pain settles into my sternum. I know what’s happening, I can see it. I can call it what is and know it does not have to be my truth but it’s a struggle, a battle I feel I am loosing in that moment. I want to get up and walk away and I want to fight. I know neither are the answer.
I call out for husband to come to me, I need his solid warmth and support. He puts his arm around my shoulder and I share what I am going through. He listens and gently reminds me to reach out to my guides. I close my eyes and the tears begin to press against the lids as I feel several of them show up immediately. They are there. Ready to help me through this, ready to help me trample the barriers that stand before me, ready to gently nudge me forward, to help me persevere, to be grounded, to dive deep within me finding my words, to be joyful in the process, to trust that the wind does indeed hold me a float and to carry me from this place of pain and frustration to another where I soar. They show me there is a place to keep my hopes and dreams safely held close to me and yet ready to be birthed.
I rise, slip on my shoes and go outside. I breathe the fresh cool air laced with hints of wood smoke. I walk around the yard and see the bright cheerful faces of Calendula recently opened up, seeming to shiver in the breeze that moves down the ally. I walk back up onto the porch and settle down next to my cypress, petting it and bringing the citrus scent of its branches to my face. I breathe deep and speak my gratitude to it. I gaze at the bulbs planted in front of it and marvel at how much they have grown in the last week. I wonder when they will bloom.
It is then that I see the movement in the bush in front of me. My eyes wander through the forest of bare forsythia branches and finally find the Song Sparrow. I think of how they sing, Song Sparrows, from the top of bushes, throat back and beak thrown open to the sky, loud and bold they sing. I say hello and it begins to move again, hopping from branch to branch then onto the steps and to the rim of a planter. Its tail dances about as I tell it how grateful I am for it being here this winter, how I look forward to seeing it each day when it comes to visit.
I rise and go inside. Rummaging through the pantry I find a jar of raw sunflower seeds and carry it outside. I toss a couple handfuls onto the lawn and then bend down to sprinkle a little on the steps. I see the song sparrow move forward, once again in the forsythia, and as soon as I’m in the door it emerges from the shrub and begins to eat my offering.
I had something to offer. It’s what I had right then and I gave it freely. Tell me that doesn’t tie into all I was just going through… oh but it does. I must simply give what I have in the moment and trust the rest to unfold. I write these words instead of the lost words on Imbolc. I give what I have – gratitude and sunflower seeds.