April 2011 (Vol. XIV, No. 4)

Warm, Springtime Greetings, dear friends!  The changing of seasons always brings to mind that well known passage in Ecclesiastes, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."  Consider the vast meaning within so few words!  How does nature know?  How do those perennials we plant know when to begin to grow again, the trees to begin budding and leafing?  How do the birds know when to migrate back to their summer homes, to begin mating and nesting?  The will to grow and expand is directed by a life force beyond our human comprehension.  We can only observe in awe and gratitude the world our Creator has given us.  As we fall silent before such miracles, let us ask for help in caring for the earth and its treasures that they may continue to sustain us and all future generations in abundance and in beauty.

Emanating a subtle, precious light

The mountains, rivers, earth
  grasses, trees, and forests
are always emanating a subtle,
  precious light,
day and night, always emanating
  a subtle, precious sound,
demonstrating and expounding
  to all people
the unsurpassed, ultimate truth.

~ by Yuan-Sou

In kinship with all that lives

To see all things at their origin, their beginning, puts us in kinship with all that lives: trees, birds, stars seem foreign to us only inasmuch as we perceive them outside of our common origin with them.  To drink at the source of all that lives and breathes expands the heart and makes the blood sing, echoing the song of all the vital fluids in the world.  To dwell near all beginnings is to draw infinitely near to that which creates both the unity and the diversity of all beings.

~ from THE SACRED EMBRACE OF JESUS AND MARY by Jean-Yves Leloup

This earth is my sister

This earth is my sister: I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved I am, how we admire this strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: we are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget: what she is to me, what I am to her.

~ from WOMAN AND NATURE by Susan Griffin

A tree bathed in sunlight is a life and has a tale to tell

"It doesn’t matter to most people that the wind sings in the trees or that a mountain shimmers in the sunlight.  But you find life in all this, a life you can partake of."

I replied that no one understands nature: a tree bathed in sunlight, a weathered stone, an animal, a mountain, each has life, has a tale to tell, is a life, suffers, endures, experiences joy, dies -- but we
don’t understand it.

~ from PETER CAMENZIND by Hermann Hesse

Be a gardner. Dig a ditch.

Be a gardener.
Dig a ditch,
toil and sweat
and turn the earth upside down
and seek the deepness
and water the plants in time.
Continue this labor
and make sweet floods to run
and noble and abundant fruits
to spring.
Take this food and drink
and carry it to God
as your true worship.

~ from MEDITATIONS WITH JULIAN OF NORWICH

Blessed are the men and women who are planted on your earth

Blessed are the men and women
    who are planted on Your earth in Your garden,
Who grow as Your trees and flowers grow,
    who transform their darkness to light.
Their roots plunge into darkness;
    their faces turn toward the light.
All those who love You are beautiful;
    they overflow with Your presence
    so that they can do nothing but good.
There is infinite space in Your garden;
    all men, all women are welcome here;
    all they need do is enter.

~ from THE ENLIGHTENED HEART by Stephen Mitchell

The stones and rain and flowers call us

If only we know, boss, what the stones and rain and flowers say.  Maybe they call -- call us -- and we don’t hear them.  When will people’s ears open, boss?  When shall we have our eyes open to see?  When shall we open our arms to embrace everything -- stones, rain, flowers, and men?  What d'you think about that, boss?  And what do your books have to say about it.

~ from ZORBA THE GREEK by Nikos Kazantzakis

New sights of Nature make me rejoice

All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.

~ Marie Curie

Holy Mother Earth, the trees and all nature

Holy Mother Earth, the trees and all nature are witnesses of your thoughts and deeds.

~ A Winnebago Wise Saying

The earth delights to feel your bare feet

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

~ by Kahlil Gibran

We live in wisdom who see ourselves in all and all in us

As we walked in silence a passage from the Bhagavad Gita came to me:  "We live in wisdom who see ourselves in all and all in us.  We are forever free who have broken out of the ego cage of 'I and mine.' "  The Bhagavad Gita described a voice within all of us that tells us each the same thing: what we want is not money, fame, or material possessions, but a world of peace, hearts filled with love, and an earth where the air and water are clean, the environment healthy.  We want to rid ourselves of those unwanted habits and negative thoughts that prohibit us from living in peace with ourselves, the environment and our neighbor.

~ from SHAPE SHIFTING by John Perkins

Going to the Deep Ground that underlies all things

A circle of trees . . . I felt I was bringing the journey home to the ordinary dimensions of my life, rooting it in the place I lived every day.  I lay back on the earth and looked up through the branches of an oak, feeling suddenly like the sun was my own heart pulsing up there with light.  Wind swirled, and it seemed to me it was my own breath billowing through the branches.  The crocus bulbs were buried in my tissue, the cedars growing from my body.  The birds flew inside me.  Stones sat along my bones . . . a jubilant, stunning loss of boundary, a deeper sense of oneness than I’d ever felt.

I knew that I was part of one vast, universal quilt; I knew that this quilt was itself, the Holy Thing, the manifestation of the Divine One.  And I loved this universal quilt, every stitch, color, and fiber, with a heartbreaking love.  It was one clear moment in time, like going to the Deep Ground that underlies all things and seeing, really seeing, what is and being pierced by the unbounded nature of it.

~ from THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER by Sue Monk Kidd