On the day of my initiation into the Bardic Grove of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, my Grove’s leader (not that he would call himself that) gifted me a brass oak leaf pendant to mark the start of my new Druid journey.
On the cycle home from the ritual, I lost it. I assumed that the clasp had broken and it fell off my neck somewhere along the main road. Gone forever.
January was a difficult month, with some extra stress than usual and I drifted away from my Druid practice, feeling it slipping away from me. I didn’t go to my Grove’s Imbolc ritual at the weekend, feeling unable to stand with other Druids after not keeping up with the work. I felt small and honestly, unworthy of being a Druid.
This morning, taking out the bins of all things, I glanced at the small lawn outside my front door. The lawn where I walk every day, where I roll my bike in and out of the shed every day. And there it was.
Sat on the grass, literally as bold as brass, the leaf-point facing me directly. The oak leaf. The token of my initiation.
Right when I needed a reminder of my Druidry, there it was. As if to affirm that this is the right path, that I still can walk it at my own pace and time, that I am still, no matter what, a Druid.
Now I’m not one for reading signs into natural events. A bird for instance isn’t a message from the gods, they’re a bird living their bird life. But this – this gives me pause. I would have seen it. It’s been six weeks and I walk on that lawn twice a day every day.
Yet there it was.
I don’t know if it’s a sign or not, or if so who or what put it there. But I choose to see it as such. I choose to see this return of what was lost as a sign that I am on the right path, and not to let fear stop me from walking it.
Imbolc is a time of return. The first flowers are beginning to bloom, the Canada geese return to their Northern home, the light returns to the lengthening days. And perhaps somewhere, in the midst of all the pain and doubt and hurt and fear, hope returns.
Hope that inspires.
Hope that heals.
Hope that grows like an acorn into a beautiful oak.