Today is the first Friday since the New Year that I’ve felt back to my usual positive and healthy self. I volunteer at the gym and am planning to work out afterwards for the first time in about a month. The temperature fell to freezing last night. I bundled up this morning and as soon as I left the house, I gulped in deep, refreshing lungfuls of peppermint candy air. Still wintry, but there are subtle hints of Spring here and there.
A finch in a lattice of branches surveys his territory.
Last Autumn’s leaves and Spring’s new growth trapped in a frozen seep remind me that we are in the betweentime.
I love that my return to health is coinciding with the arrival of a new season. Some of my creative ideas which have been steeping and slumbering are beginning to stir too!
These juicy plants growing in a crack of a stone wall caught my eye.
The round, green leaves are a succulent called ‘navelwort’, Umbilicus rupestris. Both of these names come from the round shape of the leaves, which have a navel-like depression in the center.
I’m always interested in etymology.
Sanskrit nabhila “navel, nave, relationship;” Avestan nafa “navel,” naba-nazdishta “next of kin.”
“Navel” words from other roots include Greek bembix, literally “whirlpool.” Old Church Slavonic papuku, Lithuanian pumpuras are originally “bud.”
The navel has been considered a feminine sexual center since ancient times, and still in parts of the Middle East, India, and Japan. Of course the umbilical cord connects us to our mother throughout gestation and birth.
At every point in the turning of the year, I feel that I’ve come full circle. Now is the time of new beginnings, the stirring in the belly.