Groundhog Day! Candlemas. Or in the Gaelic tradition, Imbolc (meaning "in the belly" = the pregnancy of ewes with those little lambs-to-be). However you think of today, the sun is halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox. Already the increase of light feels substantial. We have one hour more daylight than we did 6 weeks ago.
The spirits that returned to earth on November 1 (All Souls Day, also called Dia de los Muertos) and were deep underground on December 21 (Persephone, Queen of the Underworld) are supposedly peeking up today to see if it's safe. Is spring here yet? Will the groundhog see her shadow?
It certainly feels like spring with muddy roads and 50 degrees yesterday. In fact, most of this winter has felt more like pre-spring. Here in the North Country, we've had only one week of zero degree temperatures and only a thin coverlet of snow.
So, during these next 7 weeks until spring equinox, what are we pregnant with? What's our deepest longing?
Even though we are aiming toward non-attachment, the Buddha gave a talk about "One Fortunate Attachment." Fortunately, we have desire for the Dharma, otherwise we would not be on this path.
What's your Dharma desire?
I'm spending 5 of the next 7 weeks on silent retreat. Consider taking just one day of silence yourself.
As Father Thomas Keating, an ecumenical contemplative says,
Silence is the language God speaks and everything else is a bad translation.