May you enjoy the BLESSINGS OF THE SPRING SEASON, dear friends! May you find renewal for your soul in times of silence and solitude in the midst of nature's beauty.
Confronting our own silences, and listening to ourselves, eventually moves us toward listening to other, previously unheard silences. To the silences in many who have had to quiet the expressive parts of themselves. To the silences of children, too often "shushed" as having nothing to contribute. To the silences of Earth, in its land and air and water, so often in pain where we have abused it, as well as to the faulty systems, structures, and customs that reinforce such troubling silence. As our listening deepens, we inevitably touch the Center of all stillness. In the midst of all the silences, we become able to hear the quiet Presence of the One who loves us, cherishes us, needs us... We meet the Holy Mystery whose listening to us is the primordial power, hearing us into speech.
We might sometimes reflect and recall that the purpose of all our science, technology, industry, manufacturing, commerce, and finance is celebration, planetary celebration. That is what moves the stars through the heavens and the earth through its seasons. The final norm of judgment concerning the success or failure of our technologies is the extent to which they enable us to participate more fully in this grand festival.
There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil; but you have to be silent, willing to wait and receive.
All life is our of Thee,
And Thy life is Thy blissful Unity
You never enjoy the world aright,
Till the sea itself flows in your veins,
Till you are clothed with the stars.
I am here upon this Earth
To reclaim the Earth
To turn the desert into Paradise
A Paradise most suitable unto God
And every creature to dwell thereon.
We do not own the earth.
Walk gently upon it, so that
future generations may do the same.
The best reflections are there
when the wind, water, and you
are quite still.
Walk cheerfully and gently over the earth answering to that of God in everyone and everything.
Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon in long slow-motion movements of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize that this is the Earth -- home.
The silence in the giant redwood forest near my home draws me. Many mornings I get up early and dress hurriedly to get to the woods before the tour buses and the cars arriving with people from all over the world come to marvel at the majesty of nature. At eight in the morning, the great trees stand rooted in silence so absolute that one's inmost self comes to rest. An aged silence. The grandmother of silences. I find the silence even more remarkable than the trees.
How the elder loved nature! He loved it in three different ways: as angels, children, and sages love it. When he walked through the forest with us, we felt the power of his prayers. It was as though ranks of angels surrounded us. The elder said very little in the midst of nature, but if he did say something, then it was with such child-like joy and simplicity that his earthly age disappeared. Nature for the elder was a book of the holy revelations of God.
Gardens are spaces of inhabiting in which we are entrusted with the very continuity of life itself. Our job is not to oversee or control, but to plant, prune, water, feed and encourage growth. We either make of the garden a verdant refreshing oasis or a desert, stripped of nutrients and barren of new life.
Peacemaking is a call that has been discerned when our garden's ripeness shows that we have learned that we inhabit one great garden, our earth, when we have learned that we are but one interwoven fabric of created life charged with mutual and tender cultivation by the One who gave and gives us life.