Biddy Early, birthday, bushfires, Colin Thiele, family, February, February Dragon, Valentine's Day
Past, present and future all come together in February.
This month recorded more days over 40C in any summer since records began and today the most amount of rainfall in over 40 years fell – extreme weather conditions are the norm.
When I was a child one of the books I enjoyed was Colin Thiele’s February Dragon, a tragic tale of bushfires ravaging the landscape, lives and property. Each February I am deeply conscious of the powerful combination of fire and wind and its capacity to destroy past and futures. While the temperature climbed this week, family members gathered in a landscape that has known terror and catastrophe. Birds and vegetation are both back in abundance as the healing powers of rain and human endeavour have combined to mid-wife new beginnings. The healing process has its own timeline and although seasons have come and gone, scars still remain while faded.
I wonder Biddy, how much of your healing powers were required for quick fix or whether in fact they too had to take time to find their way through layers of tissue and sinew?
February is a key birthday season in the family. Each person is invited to enter a year of promise and to farewell the harvest of a year past – maybe lessons learnt that can be applied or celebrations that seal securities. All births are preceded by sparks of love as winds of change that rise in the umbilical cord that enables the love to feed the emerging human being.
February comes from a Latin word meaning purification and in reflecting on this month, it seems appropriate that its origins include cleansing and distillation. Gold and silver are purified by fire. The birthday candles symbolically remind us that a new year needs to begin in darkness; you blow the candles out to signify the new year beginning. The candle lit as the new babe is baptised links the light of the world’s the first burst of energy from the beginning of time the new babe inherits by joining the human family. February is also the month of love.
Valentine’s Day is wasted on romantic love, putting your love on the line for your beliefs, as St Valentine did, is a special kind of love. Married in February, this year marks 36 years of counter-cultural living as a couple. In the twilight of a February evening vows were exchanged as the sun set on two individuals and rose on a duet. A life long song is being sung; sometimes in harmony, sometimes in unison and sometimes taking a verse each and joining in on a chorus together.
The bushfires, birthdays and new beginnings both real, and metaphoric, are reflected in the landscape of any marriage. (I note Biddy you were married at least three times according to the records and you outlived your husbands and chose someone decades younger than you for your final choice! Perhaps you were looking to inoculate yourself from a future grief, although these days you might have been classed as a cougar!)
February offers the potential for alchemy of the seasons, relationships and the land. How we respond to these invitations of purification, determines how we get through our Februaries.