Finding Love; Finding Freedom

Every morning we have the opportunity to bravely face a new day and choose love. Despite the obstacles, we can work to remain filled with that mysterious love that wells up from deep within and fills every part of us. This is the love that heals and changes the world.

The following writing is from Firefly Gathering’s monthly newsletter, and is written by director Marissa Percoco. Join our Newsletter to receive our monthly musings, announcements, sales, book nooks, and more directly to your inbox.

February is such an intense month for me. Each year I forget that the world will not stay gray forever; that the verdant green will return to the wild places, flowers will bloom and the buzz of  bees will once again fill the air while I walk barefoot to the river and plunge into its icy mountain waters. But not yet. It is still cold, gray and dreary, and I long for the caress of the sun’s warmth on my bare skin.

But there is a quickening; have you felt it? 

The sun lingers later these days and the birds sing a bit earlier. We’ve passed Imbolc, which means “in the belly of the Mother,” because the seeds of spring are beginning to stir in the belly of Mother Earth, as are the seeds of our own intentions. This is the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox. 

I exhale a deep sigh as I experience a certain pleasure in what feels like the very earliest tendril of spring extending towards me. What profound relief in the lengthening days; what joy fills my being with the growing arc of the sun. 

As I sit with the seeds of my intentions for this new year and feel the loving caress of spring, I’m reminded of bell hooks, whom I adore, admire and refer to on a regular basis- especially her work, All About Love

We’ve inherited a greatly distorted concept of love: colonization, which separated us all at some point from our ancestral communal clans and tribal units and left us in isolation (abandonment issues, anyone? You’re not alone).

Our complex webs of love and support fractured over distance and time, pressured further by the hierarchy of heteronormative romantic love and “modern” matrimonial ties. Capitalism is also a powerful force, teaching that if you love someone, you buy them stuff. Partnered with consumerism, which teaches us that we need stuff to feel loved, we find ourselves in an endless loop. Layer on unrealistic beauty standards across the spectrum, as well as the multitude of traumas that we are all individually and collectively moving through, and it’s an absolute miracle that we are capable of loving at all.

And yet, we are. Every morning we have the opportunity to bravely face a new day and choose love. Despite the obstacles, we can work to remain filled with that mysterious love that wells up from deep within and fills every part of us. This is the love that heals and changes the world. 

February is such an intense month for me. Each year I forget that the world will not stay gray forever; that the verdant green will return to the wild places, flowers will bloom and the buzz of  bees will once again fill the air while I walk barefoot to the river and plunge into its icy mountain waters. But not yet. It is still cold, gray and dreary, and I long for the caress of the sun’s warmth on my bare skin.

But there is a quickening; have you felt it? 

The sun lingers later these days and the birds sing a bit earlier. We’ve passed Imbolc, which means “in the belly of the Mother,” because the seeds of spring are beginning to stir in the belly of Mother Earth, as are the seeds of our own intentions. This is the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox. 

I exhale a deep sigh as I experience a certain pleasure in what feels like the very earliest tendril of spring extending towards me. What profound relief in the lengthening days; what joy fills my being with the growing arc of the sun. 

As I sit with the seeds of my intentions for this new year and feel the loving caress of spring, I’m reminded of bell hooks, whom I adore, admire and refer to on a regular basis- especially her work, All About Love

We’ve inherited a greatly distorted concept of love: colonization, which separated us all at some point from our ancestral communal clans and tribal units and left us in isolation (abandonment issues, anyone? You’re not alone).

Our complex webs of love and support fractured over distance and time, pressured further by the hierarchy of heteronormative romantic love and “modern” matrimonial ties. Capitalism is also a powerful force, teaching that if you love someone, you buy them stuff. Partnered with consumerism, which teaches us that we need stuff to feel loved, we find ourselves in an endless loop. 

Layer on unrealistic beauty standards across the spectrum, as well as the multitude of traumas that we are all individually and collectively moving through, and it’s an absolute miracle that we are capable of loving at all.

And yet, we are. Every morning we have the opportunity to bravely face a new day and choose love. Despite the obstacles, we can work to remain filled with that mysterious love that wells up from deep within and fills every part of us. This is the love that heals and changes the world. 

“The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom.”  ~ Love as the Practice of Freedom

As we collectively begin to awaken and shake off the mantle of winter, let us tend to the seeds of self love so that our hearts may fill, and then spill out onto the world around us. In the words of bell hooks, “self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others.” From here, we can move into loving each other and the world.

WRITTEN BY

Firefly Gathering

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Kimberly Dunn

Finance Manager (she/her)

Having grown up in a multicultural family, Kimberly’s love for languages and traditional cultures is infused into everything she creates. After many years overseas, she now calls the Appalachian mountains her home and continues to keep the adventure alive by staying close to the wild. Kimberly is a singer songwriter, dancer, women’s circle facilitator, personal finance astrologer, bookkeeper, yoga teacher, and chef.