Who would ever have imagined that we would find ourselves in the circumstances that we are living through now? Our past year has been harsh, dark. People are mourning loved ones, living with isolation, loneliness. Even the weather has conspired to make the world a cold uncomfortable place, with snow and flooding. The future looks uncertain and unkind.
Yet the wheel has brought us round to Imbolc. The quickening, when signs of new life are beginning to make themselves known. That reassurance of a return to an easier life, leaving the winter behind, although we still have to wait a while yet.
And we have a glimmer of hope for our lives, a potential for a slow return to normal. The vaccine. Perhaps not the normal we knew but our new normal, a slow ease of restrictions as more people become protected. Something for us to watch and wait for, and hope it fulfils its potential.
In the meantime, I celebrate Imbolc, take time out to remind myself of things I am grateful for. I take a look at my life, how it has been since Yule. Am I happy with the way it has gone? If so, I will give myself a pat on the back. If not, I will see if there is anything I can do to change things, or at least how to come to terms with things I can’t change.
(I am pleased to report that I am giving myself a pat on my back. Bit difficult with my bad shoulder but hey, that’s the least of my worries! So far I have stayed on plan with the targets I set myself. Not the impossible to achieve ones, but the amended more realistic and kinder ones. Remember, don’t be hard on yourself. Kindness achieves far more.)
Last week I gave a recipe for Bride’s Bannocks. I’m afraid I enjoyed them a little too much – I had to sample them didn’t I?
We had fun making butter from Gold top milk. Just a little bit, enough to spread on the bannock. It was hard work that kept us quiet for a while which I felt in my arm this morning from all the shaking, but it was fascinating watching the solid lumps of buttery gold emerge from the milk.
I wish you all the best for this special day, and the brightest of blessings.
Butter – lots of effort but great to see, and great to spread on bannock, freshly and inexpertly made by me on the stove top this morning.
Written by Portland Jones, PF Disabilities Liaison for West Midlands