A few weeks ago my partner and I were taking a walk through a local nature preserve. Florida has some truly spectacular and unique nature that one can miss because of the density of development here.
This particular park is a native wetland with cypress hammocks scattered throughout. Thanks to a boardwalk trail, it’s possible to walk amongst the trees, just a couple feet above the water. It is a fabulous way to feel immersed in nature and in touch with spirit. We often see alligators, snail kites, snakes, turtles, fish, and many other native creatures there. One of the odd things about it is that there aren’t an abundance of song birds there, for whatever reason. There are a few but for the most part, it’s fairly silent while walking through the hammock. I’ve found this actually enhances the meditative feel of walking through a somewhat quiet forest.
As we walked along I noted to my partner how beautiful the berries on the Dahoon holly were. I had been telling her a little bit about Imbolc and about Brighid, about fire festivals.
I looked up at the tree and said, “I wish I could have a little sprig of leaves and berries for my Imbolc altar. I feel like it would fit in well.”
She said, “why don’t you just snap a little piece off?”
“It feels wrong, plus I think it’s illegal to remove plants from this park,” I replied.
We walked on and went down a section of the boardwalk that looked out over a clearing in the cypress trees that formed a lake. When we turned back I saw something sitting on the railing of the boardwalk, about halfway back to the main part of the trail.
My partner looked at me and said, “someone left something for you.”
“Oh my god, did you put that there?” I asked in disbelief, looking down at a sprig of Dahoon holly that was perched right where I would see it.
“No, I swear I didn’t.”
It was stunning, whatever the circumstances. Some people would attribute it to a funny coincidence. For me, it was a message and a near direct contact with deity.
As we left the park, we held hands and I carried my little sprig with. I just kept saying, “incredible, incredible!” My partner was overcome with emotion.
That sprig now sits on my Imbolc altar, and Brighid has now become a much more prominent deity for me.
Let the miraculous find you this holiday.