Imbolc – The First Signs of Spring

Today was Imbolc, otherwise known as Candlemas. It’s an ancient holiday that few of us still celebrate, but in its essence it is the end of winter and beginning of spring. It’s a time of creativity, of healing, of rejoicing for life. It’s a time of fertility, of laughter, and of love.

This year we celebrated simply – I’ve been taking walks down by the lake with my son, so I took a couple of trips recently to look for, document, and celebrate the first signs I found of springtime. Secondly, tonight we lit the fireplace (which has been dormant all winter long), and tossed a few springs of fresh rosemary onto the flames.

So here’s a picture-laden look at the signs of the changing season, as I managed to find near my home.

Holiday Reflections

Yule is passed. Christmas is passed. Since we’re a multi-religious home, we celebrated both holidays. It means more family, more presents, more feasting. I didn’t make the trip to the Grove this year – my health has been shaky for several weeks. I didn’t light a fire, or make an offering to the Gods. But as I keep walking along this path, adjusting to motherhood, the more comfortable I’m getting with my faith.

When I hug my child close, I sense all the generations before us that have done the exact same thing with their children. My grandmother, her grandmother, all the way back to the most distant ancestors. Every time I nurse him, carry him around with one arm while I clean or make something to eat, every beautiful smile he gives me, I feel the smiles of those spirits who came before us. As long as I’m taking care of him, I know the Gods forgive my lack of offerings. They forgive my missing a ritual. My very soul is the fire that both honors Them and nurtures my child – as long as it burns bright, I know that all is well.

I used to believe that suffering was the surest way to find faith – that pain led people to seek a higher power. I found my own faith amid the darkest shadows of my life, and I’ve known so many who did the same. But I realize now that joy is so much stronger. As the holidays – Holy Days – have drawn to a close, I find myself simply and purely grateful for my family and this life that I’ve been given.

Busy week!

Well, I had hoped to post more often..  But, we have made some progress with the house construction, so I have been busy with moving things around in-between baby things (diapers, nursing, laundry, etc etc).

I hope to post the dryer ball tutorial soon – I managed to make 4 of them and have been testing them this week. 2 are made from upcycled sweaters, and 2 are from a cheap skein of yarn I found at a craft store. I’m having a small issue with them, so I’m going to have to separate them and figure out if it’s the sweaters or yarn causing the problem.

We ordered more microfleece for liners. As it turns out, my little man burns through the 21 we had in a day. It made for some tense laundry moments, wondering if the dryer was going to finish before we ran out of his last liner or two. Thankfully we kept the remaining flushies around, so we had those to toss on a couple of times. New fleece showed up, however, and is all cut up and added to the stack. Advice is to buy at least 2 yards for your liners if you intend to use them every change and don’t want to do laundry at the exact same hour every day. Maybe some folks are that awesome at keeping a daily routine, but I’m sure not yet.

Also – Samhain is coming up! He’s too young to make memories, but I feel happy bringing him to celebrations. We agreed to raise him neutrally in terms of religion, but he’s still too small to remember – and I’m not quite comfortable yet with a babysitter option for that many hours. Until he’s a bit older, I’ll get to hold him by the bonfire, and listen to the drumming and chanting, pray for the Kindreds to watch over him. We did a beautiful Naming/Blessing ritual for him at the Autumn Equinox. I hope that one day when he’s older he decides to come with me to a High Day celebration and see what it’s all about – but I would settle for a healthy respect (if not love) of nature. Until he’s old enough to be sheltered from it, I’ll simply enjoy my time with him by the fires, and make memories enough for the both of us.

A Blog is Born

Well… another Mom Blog. As a bit of background, I am a Stay At Home mother of an adorable 7 week old son. I am a Druid, which is to say I have a nature-based religion modeled after ancient Irish beliefs. I breastfeed, although supply issues mean that once in a while he does get the a supplimental bottle. I just started to cloth diaper – it took this long to start thanks to an epic ton of house construction, some illness I had after birth, and getting the hang of breastfeeding before tacking on additional difficulties taking care of a newborn.

All of that being said, I’m a fairly green parent. And since I’m not going back to work – boy! – we got a budget. My jobs are to take care of the baby, the house, and save us money wherever I can. This blog is a journal of my attempts to do that. I’ll also be posting about various giveaways – because who doesn’t want or need free stuff? I’ll keep the giveaway posts limited to cloth diapering or breastfeeding items (and any companies or fellow bloggers in those two categories are encouraged to follow or contribute). Until such a time as I host my own, they’ll be heads up posts that other websites are hosting.

The final thing I want to tackle in this journey is what my husband calls “Internet Parenting.” This is his first baby, and the first one of mine that came home with me from the hospital.. That being said, we’re somewhat clueless as all new parents are. Unlike older times, we don’t have a giant net of familial support to ask our questions, so we turn to our modern day information slave – the internet. This has been both awesome and terrible. We’ve learned a lot of really great things, and we’ve made some mistakes because of things we’ve found. All in all, we learned that nomatter WHAT you’ve decided to do as a parent, there is someone who wholly agrees with you, and someone who thinks it’s the worst thing possible. During this journal I’ll tackle some of the lessons I’ve learned, and review some options that the internets will suggest.

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