For Ostara we planted five seeds. The soil that held them was mixed with ashes. Ashes that had once been paper, that had once held our Imbolc intentions, and that now nourished the soil. Our seeds, so small in the dark soil. Tiny seeds of possibility-- asleep. We set them in the sun with water and our blessings.
I planted seeds as a child. I plant seeds as an adult, experiencing the anticipation and wonder anew. I ran to peer at the soil every day, hoping for growth and new beginnings. The adult kept the excitement away. The adult made plans if the seeds did not grow. The child stayed hopeful and rejoiced when seedlings emerged.
Seedlings are magical.
Our “babies”, our seedlings. Tiny and delicate, they persevere every day. All five have grown. All five lean towards the sun. Some are stronger than others. Some fall with the water. They won’t all grow into tomato plants. They won’t all gift us fruit. Until then, they are tiny little possibilities. They are tiny little hopes-- awake.
Ten years ago I had the courage to attend my first Womongathering. Womongathering was a four day women’s spirituality festival in the woods of Pennsylvania. I had been reading about it since 2001 when I found the Womongathering newsletter at a local pagan store. It was a dark time in my life. I had nightmares almost every day, suffered from panic attacks and saw my therapist at least once a week. Some times I saw her more often, especially if I had a mental breakdown that week. Mental breakdowns consisted of me crying hysterically, afraid to leave my room, and could be brought on by almost anything. I desperately needed to go somewhere safe. I needed to find the strength to continue. I remember my now ex-husband dropping me off at the gate. I was terrified making my way into the festival without him. I was so afraid to be alone back then. All the women at the festival were so friendly, but I was too scared to notice.
I spent my first night at Womongathering curled up in my blankets, clinging to my teddy and crying. Here I was, twenty-five years old with my teddy bear as a lifeline. No one could have guessed that the bulky book bag I took with me everywhere wasn’t full of books-- it held my teddy bear. I was doing a lot of inner child work and dealing with the memories coming up because of it. So with my therapist’s approval I was at Womongathering looking for something to switch on inside me. I hoped that an event full of women honoring Goddess energy would give me the change I was looking for.