Imbolc is upon us. The triple goddess Brigid shifts to maiden from crone. Her saint’s day is honoured as her rituals are observed. All sorts of beliefs all pointing in the same direction – towards Proserpine returning from the underworld. Towards the tomb being found open. Towards life returning to a cold and bitter earth.
Perhaps this has been a colder winter than many. We saw a pied wagtail at a service station today. We threw it some bread. The ground is bare, the empty branches rattle in the cold wind. Light falls early and comes back late. Tomorrow, before dark, I’ll finally be stripping down the Christmas decorations that I’ve left up to cheer my flat. Baubles and lights and even a little Nativity scene for nobody but me.
They’ll all be bagged and boxed and consigned to the attic for a year, despite their absence making the flat less cheerful. I’ll put candles in the window instead, and trust that the change of the year will come, the light will return, the shoots will shoot up, and we’ll finally start to be able to pretend like we’re normal human beings doing the fun things and the worky things that we always do, and we’ll be able to do them in sunshine.
I packed up my car like Santa’s sleigh today and drove the rounds of eBay buyers between London and Brighton. I dropped off little presents in the porches of people’s houses between my flat and Brighton. A tray in Battersea, a fan in Beckenham… I’m already getting surprised messages from buyers who woke up to presents they’d paid for. I couldn’t do it for everybody – one guy was in Moray, for instance – but a fair amount of people are going to get their item early. The least I could do for them helping me make my tax bill.
When we finally got to Brighton I sent Lou back to her lovely seaside flat and slogged back to London to get my nose into the grindstone once more. There’s the golden acting job just waiting to be dug up. I’m back on the hunt, ready to be ready when the light comes back and shines by my face again. Dig dig dig dig dig dig dig.
I’m ready for the spring. For the world. I need it. This has been a long dark time for so many of us. We’ve lost a great deal. Some of it will never return. Some will come back slowly. But when we can, together, we will build beautiful things again and we will honour the memory of those we’ve lost along the way.
Right now I’m thinking I should just go home to The Isle of Man. I’d have to quarantine for two weeks. But they’ve switched the world back on. I’ve got a place to live there, things to do there… It’s tempting…