Let the Games Begin

Here we are, at long last: the Spring Equinox.

Winter is over.

Let’s all take a big breath – in, out, whooo – in honor of that.

Yeah, yeah, I know the equinox was yesterday. I’m late again. I swore I wasn’t going to blow off the equinox like I always do, yet here I am, not saying a word about it until the 21st. Even “IRL” my performance was poor – I don’t recall having wished even a single person a happy equinox. Maybe my wife, but still. A wizard should do better.

I'm trying to be a good boy and use more public domain pictures. This was a public domain picture that Google Images provided me in a search for "Equinox."
I’m trying to be a good boy and use more public domain pictures. This was a public domain picture that Google Images provided me in a search for “Equinox.”

Given what can now safely be described as a consistent pattern of inadequate equinox observance, self-reflection and transparency demand that I humbly recognize that equinoxes just aren’t as cool as solstices, and I can’t fake myself into thinking that they are. That’s not to say that they aren’t important, just that their significance is not so impossible to ignore. I may be a wizard, but a wizard’s journey is the lifetime kind and I’m still very much at my own path’s beginning. I’ll continue to mark these important points in the wheel of the year as best I can (just as I do with the even more difficult “cross-quarter days” that fall in between the 4 seasonal changes) and maybe as the years go by I’ll be able to get WILDLY excited about equinoxes.

One can only hope.

In my own defense, here, we not only brought the new son into the world just last week, but I crashed someone else’s car yesterday, and then today the windshield wipers stopped working on our one good car. I’ve been BUSY, man!

All right, enough with all of that. We’ve just got a few basic things to talk about, here, and if you’ve been following along, I don’t think any of this will come as a surprise.

swimming-78112_640Look at that dude. See? Let the races begin.

Well, that’s the thing about the spring finally being here. Yeah, today, there’s still snow on the ground in the Monadnock region. It’s likely to dissipate in the next two to three weeks. You can already feel it in the sun – the sun really is winning once again. The cold of the season is no match for its increasingly direct angle toward us fortunate little beings. Even if we get in car crashes or just are too busy to feel it this week or just yet, we’ll feel the warm joy of the return to life and light out of death and darkness. We can hardly help it. But existing side by side with this joy is the flip side of the time: it’s on like Donkey Kong.

By “it,” of course, I mean the game/race/work/harvest of the year, loosely defined as 2014. Yep, time to bust out the usual agricultural metaphor. (If you’ve got a better one, share it with me!) The time of pure rest is done. That’s not to say that consistent rest isn’t still necessary for our mental and spiritual well-being, but the time is no longer defined by such rest. The times are no longer defined by theoretical preparation, by the contemplation of the solely potential.

Quintero_-_LandscapeWe’re not quite to the wildflowers-in-the-awesome-field stage, but what once was solely potential is beginning to become manifest. This will only increase, and we can’t escape that. If we began the year in intentional contemplation and planning, even the earliest manifestations will be recognizable, useful, and even expected. If not (and that’s the vast, vast majority of us), it’s going to be slightly more jarring and chaotic when things start coming at us.

But, after all, what’s wrong with that? If it weren’t for the sheer excitement of life’s wild assault on our senses, what fun would it be to have a wheel of the year at all? Sure, I’d like to master the cycles and be able to ride them instead of having them hit me, but while they still knock me about like waves on Plum Island, I’ll try to dig it.

But whether I anticipate it, dig it, respect it, accept it, or do none of those things, the real 2014 games begin NOW.

All right, so maybe some of us have shown up to the race late and hungover to find that the starting gun is already being fired. Whatever, it happens. Despite my hype and tremendous mixing of like seven different metaphors here, it’s not really adequate to describe this as a race or a game or any competition at all. This is still a harvest we’re talking about, here. And we’re not actually ready to put seeds in the ground yet. So if you haven’t gotten the seeds together or decided what you’re going to plant, you’ve got a few more weeks to figure it out.

Get on it! You will have a better year this year if you take the time to ponder where you’re at, where you’re going, and what it is that you want to cultivate with your time. I’m not naïve. I know that much of what happens to you – and me – this year is going to be the result of forces entirely outside our control and which we’ll have no reasonable way to anticipate even using all the tools at our disposal. But like a capitalist friend said to me recently when explaining to me how to negotiate a salary, “You can’t get what you don’t ask for.” Approach the year like that. Approach the spring like that. You can’t grow something if you never plant the seed. If your crop is ambitious or overly optimistic, there’s a good chance it won’t quite grow the way you hope. If you don’t even aim for it, there’s a 100% chance it won’t grow the way you hope.

It’s the kind of thing where trying and failing might just provide enough reward, enough increased peace or clarity, to make it worth it. There’s no real downside.

It's like this city, or something. SUNRISE, MAN!
It’s like this city, or something. SUNRISE, MAN!

If you’ve been doing well at something on a regular basis, make sure you keep doing it even if things get wild in the weeks to come. That’s what I personally need to remember better than anything. Distractions are about to be everywhere, but the planting and the maintenance of the crops and the nurturance of an intentional year – especially leading up to the all-wonderful summer solstice – requires more quiet and dedicated spiritual practice than the time of rest does. We’d be wise to let our actions reflect that.

That’s it, really. Happy Spring. It’s nice to find myself in a brand new season with you all. May its blessings shine down like anarchist glitter bombs on all of us.

Salaam.

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