Posted by Michael Finkelstein | February 11th, 2013
As I scanned the moon names for this month’s new moon, I noticed a common theme – storm, ice, snow, famine – all dark, cold adjectives that remind us of the dreads of winter and the residual “hangover” that lingers after the holidays. And we still have some unwanted baggage as well, despite our resolutions. It seems like there is always work to do. Indeed, just like my 85 year old old-world Italian gardener who uses this time to make the last minute pruning adjustments to my dormant grapevines, a little pruning seems in order for us too.
Yet, this is not a depressing time, despite the ongoing winter. When I heard the birds chirping outside the other day, I realized that things are still very much alive. Indeed, this is also a time in the creative cycle — perhaps not outright birth (as we will anticipate in a few months), maybe more like inception. Because of this, I felt a sense of joy and hope when I saw the name of the Chinese Moon, the Budding Moon, which forces us to think about an interesting alternative to the typically cold names for the lunar month that begins today.
Not surprisingly the Chinese New Year, the most grandiose and uplifting celebration for a sizable number of the world’s inhabitants, begins today as well. This celebratory occasion reminds those who live in parts of the world that are in the midst of winter, that warmth, renewal and new opportunities are not too far away, and that the next cycle of nature–when plants and trees are budding–is quickly approaching. In this we have new chances, something to look forward to, and the anticipation of new opportunities to learn and to grow. And, when we think about it further, the middle of winter is exactly the right time to set in mind your budding ideas – ideas about the future. Now is your chance to make practical resolutions in particular.