Dear Friends ~ Spring! the season of budding, sprouting, birth. The time when we see, smell, and touch the miraculous: the astounding gift of nature's regeneration. In the frisson of happiness at the sight of snowdrops and forsythia, in our leaping spirits and rising hope, we know our love for this Earth. Why else would we feel such joy? Or grief at the ongoing loss of so much? But perhaps that joy and grief arise from a deeper knowing. What if we recognized that our separation from nature was a tragic, lonely illusion? That our true nature was to be one with All Beings? What if some intuitive part of ourselves understood that we were walking on, breathing in, gazing upon, and living within the Soul of the World? Then nature is more than beauty to behold, more even than a vibrant creation. Suddenly we are speaking of Belonging and of Mystery and of what Nan Merrill called, simply, "Love".
And suddenly, there it is, a loud whirring crashing into the silence: a field cricket singing in the fading light. We all stop to listen. From a distance, we must look like a strange bunch, leaning towards a bramble bush. For us, though, the moment is holy. A tiny, solitary creature has the power to lift our spirits.
In the desert flowers come forth,
the pastures flourish with
fruit and grain;
Creation's diversity is glorious!
May all people honor these gifts
with joyful song
while walking the path of Love.
A sharp reminder hits me: this world is still alive,
it stretches out there shivering toward its own
creation. And I'm part of it. Even my breathing
enters into this elaborate give-and-take,
this bowing to sun and moon. day or night.
winter, summer, storm, still—this tranquil
chaos that seems to be going somewhere.
This wilderness with a great peacefulness in it.
This motionless turmoil, this everything dance.
and barefoot in the frosty grass, hearing,
again, the earth's great, sonorous moan that says
you are the air of the now and gone, that says
all you love will turn to dust,
and will meet you there, do not
raise your fist. Do not raise
your small voice against it. And do not
take cover. Instead, curl your toes
into the grass, watch the cloud
ascending from your lips. Walk
through the garden's dormant splendor.
Say only, thank you.
When I see the black cricket in the woodpile, in autumn, I don't frighten her. And when I see the moss grazing upon the rock, I touch her tenderly,
In the West Desert of the Great Basin, I was not alone.
...Paying attention acknowledges that we have something to learn from intelligences other than our own. Listening, standing witness, creates an openness to the world in which the boundaries between us can dissolve in a raindrop. The drop swells on the tip of a cedar and I catch it on my tongue like a blessing.
useful life? Imagine setting it all down —
papers, plans, appointments, everything,
leaving only a note: "Gone to the fields
to be lovely. Be back when I'm through
out of which the life upon which my body depends
comes in utter abundance.
There is at work in the soil a mystery
by which the death of one seed
is reborn a thousandfold in newness of life.