Friends, let us be blessed in this new Spring season! May Nature teach us the beauty of simplicity and wonder, authentic freedom and Beingness, acceptance and delight in each stage of life, and, the interdependence of our planetary community. May we pause from time to time, breathe in the silence, and let nature's gifts speak to us.
A walk in nature can help bring about one of the most essential acts a human being can perform: the stilling of the mind. For when the cacophony of disturbances, reactions, and self-talk subsides, like a windswept sea suddenly finding calm, the lens of our lives becomes a still, pure crystalline window for the cosmos to experience itself through... A walk in the natural world, with conscious mindfulness, can help bathe the senses in the implicate ordering of existence. Such a direct and immediate reminder does much to help steer us back to the center of ourselves.
Silence ... And in the west, the ever-setting sun consumed itself, surrounded by its circling sisters, rushing with the speed of light toward the point systems and cosmic galaxies had been fleeing from the beginning, toward darkness and the primordial Fiat. And across the cold ocean of space, audible as the music of the spheres, the defining cry of creation comes. Maranatha!
The Spirit of God
is a life that bestows life,
root of world-tree
and the wind in its boughs.
Scrubbing out sin,
she rubs oil into wounds.
She is glistening life
alluring all praise,
I walked through the birches by the river today. Overwhelming! The earth is stripped down to simple designs. The land has become a visual haiku. Sun on the fretwork of twigs. Blood droplets of rose hips clinging to the bushes. The chatter of the creek against trimmings of ice. The skiff of snow. My breath a white cloud like a departing soul... I have always been beguiled by birds. As if there was much they would tell me if they could, but they are only permitted to bear witness with their lives, their song.
Walking home, I ponder about a love of art and I think about my love of the land back home, about the healing grace of wildness, and how difficult it is to articulate why conservation matters, why wilderness matters to the health of our souls and how a language of the heart becomes suspect. I wonder how it is we have come to this place where art and nature are spoken in terms of what is optional?
My daughter, three years old and fearless, loves nothing more than wading along the shallow shoreline outside our house. Holding hands, we walk barefoot upstream quietly in the water, stepping delicately over stones. Besides the water sounds, there is just immense silence. We stop and listen to the water. She asked me for a story; I did not have one. Listening, she turned in delight and announced, "Daddy, this water is talking." In listening to the river a kind of silence prevails, broken only by the rush of water over rocks. Such a silence is more like faint echoes, each a series of dim reverberations. They continue in you, distant yet familiar.
Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;
Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,
The world of the flow, the whole of
the world is blooming.
This is the talk of the flower,
the truth of the blossom;
The glory of eternal life is fully shining