Tag Archives: spring

May – The World Awakens

In the high country the frozen snow begins to flow with the warmth of spring!TheHighCountry
Trickles turn to torrents.
Mist rises from the snowfields and the waterfalls, causing even the air to enrich the earth with new life.

In Yosemite (the photo to the right) only the highest places still hold frozen snowfields from winter now.
Their cold stillness has birthed action, and fed the flow of the waterfalls.
Even the waterfalls that aren’t usually there, spring to life, dancing with the joy of movement, of falling, of flow.

In the valleys below, as in the second photo, the frozen places have burst into color and delight with a profusion of flowers – explosions of color turning the formerly grey flood plains along the river into decorations beyond belief, and the hillsides into upliftments of spirit as well as body.

The natural world, each year without fail, gives us this metaphor for our own movement, for our own evolving way of being here in our lives, of letting ourselves come alive. We can get so caught in the little stuff and forget to look to the metaphor of spring, playing out its inspiration in front of our eyes every year.

Even beyond that, the natural world also constantly offers a look behind the changing scenes, the details of our lives, even the flow of change of our living and dying, as we look to what doesn’t change.

Below is a piece from “Finding Our Way Forward“. It is from a longer poem “The Bedrock” (also coming from the grandeur of Yosemite) which is seeing in the rock beneath the flowing water and the ebb and flow of the seasons a larger movement, requiring more quiet to discern, but definite and palpable:

The bedrock lets me know my place
in the larger scheme of things.
My human life is a flash
in a broad interplay of life and time,
insignificant when seen separately
yet held now inseparably
within the greater life
animating the whole.
The bedrock speaks
in a language without words
that feels familiar,
that beckons, no, welcomes me
back to the sanity
of something longer, quieter and more steady
that I had nearly forgotten.
It is an open invitation
to relax into an expanded perspective
that includes me in something grand,
beyond the breadth of galaxies.
Something vibrantly alive, and close,
Something right here,
in the center of this human life.
MercedSouthFork3.29

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Life in Motion

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This photograph is from a recent trip to Yosemite.  There is a deep snow-pack in the mountains at this time of year, but the weather during our trip was warm and water was running in little waterfalls from every rocky crevice, except in the deep woods where the forest floor was still buried deep under heavy snow.

This is such a wonderful metaphor for what is happening in the larger cycles of our world.  Egypt is in turmoil as I write this.  Its young people are no longer willing to live without freedoms that we Americans take for granted.  Both snow-melt and current events are about (sometimes tumultuous) change and about how life is never frozen in place for long, but needs eventually to break into motion.Our human ability to change and what stops us from fundamental change that is needed (as opposed to surface-level improvements) has everything to do with our overall human condition. It is about our ability to adapt, evolve and be creative in a fast-changing world that requires us to let go of the things that worked for us previously and move forward into new habits of mind that work better for us now, just as the winter’s snow is transformed by warmth into waterfalls.

We are at a significant and exciting evolutionary transition-point in our human development!Life is giving us the opportunity to notice the limitations and blind spots of our current ways of making meaning in our lives, and to stand free of what no longer serves us. Our essential identity, our beingness, does not change at all, and does not need to.  But of all the things that do shift in our lives, the deepest kind of learning and change seems to be exactly what is required of us to fully meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Meanwhile the bedrock of who we truly are rests like a foundation, below all the changes, supporting and steadying our creative movements in response to whatever is happening.In the heat of the drama, the frozen places in us change form and move on into something new, like the waters from the mountains running with tumult and beauty on a warm day.

Spring, Rebirth, Easter and the Natural Self

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I hear they are having a good sugaring season in Vermont this year! The sap rises up through the maple trees after being underground all winter with the first warm sunny days of spring. It splashes generously into buckets and pipelines, and then onto breakfast, feeding us sweet-loving humans with the nonchalant grace of nature’s plenty.

The bird-song celebrates each spring morning with unabated joy made into sound. We have mockingbirds in my neighborhood. They stun me each morning with the purity of their joy.

Nature loved winter too. Winter is a season a lot like we’ve been having in our human affairs because of our long-time enslavement to mind’s creations and its seeking after comfort. But nature loves winter too. We need the winter part of the cycle. In nature a lot dies back in the face of the cold. In our human development a lot dies back in our times of discomfort. Our perspectives change. Old models fall. We go back to essentials. We are no longer fooled by trinkets and baubles. We get motivated to find what is real and substantial… what doesn’t change when everything is taken away.

And then spring comes! From our journeys into darkness, at some point the thaw begins. That which was solid becomes liquid. That which was stuck becomes free. Rivers flow again towards the ocean.

In the Christian tradition Easter has a wonderful symbolism that seems to refer directly to what we are talking about here. Jesus is a wonderful example of how even the worst possible thing can happen to you, yet Life/God/Christ is at work in the midst of it, rising again from whatever grave there has been. Jesus’ death, the interval in between and the way Christ rose on Easter all point to a rebirth process that nature is displaying every springtime. Jesus, the human being, had to say “thy will be done” for his true identity, the Living Christ, the awakened One to take over.

The problem I see in the Christian tradition’s use of this story, is that being “The Christ” (or being one with the “Father”)is understood to be something lofty and unattainable for regular people. Same with Buddhism. No monk or minister would dare to utter such words of blasphemy as to say that they were also That! But they are! They are–with no diminution of Jesus’ attainment or Buddha’s, and no illusions as to anyone’s human vehicle being infallible first. In spite of all warts they/we are already that, always have been, and so, dear reader, are you.

Its just that over the past few thousand years we’ve maintained and passed on a load of cultural and familial conditioning that causes us to identify with the imperfect little human story that we’ve been told is what/who we are. And all the time it wasn’t true.

I invite you to open to your inner springtime. Nature is encouraging and encouraging us towards this. Rather than relating to “Christ or to “enlightenment”, lets just call this our “natural self”. This has the same feel as watching how a tree moves in a gentle breeze, a brook running downhill or when listening to a bird on a spring morning. But this is felt when looking at yourself, at who we truly are, behind/before all the thinking. Our entire surroundings everywhere, even and especially in a nasty place that isn’t what we wanted, life is calling to us to notice what we are. It is time.
Poem to Spring Love

Buds breaking, in motion
Towards the lushness of summer leaves
Through the quick celebration of flowering,
Life paints itself
With a delicate paintbrush
On the hills
In a thousand shades of green,
As I drive between them
In awe and gratitude.
Yesterday my wonder was full and complete
In Love with the world;
Overflowing…
Today is new again; remade through your touch.
There is the ecstatic arch of my spine
Alive in the bedrock
Deep under the swell of the hills
Rising and falling, riding the greater breath.
Your touch is in the penetration of air
into unfurling leaf.
Your eyes awaken remembered green
Touching the hills with springtime.
Your voice celebrates in birdsong,
The joy of being alive.
Thus do you enrich the ground of this day.
I split like a seed.
The roots stretch
Into the mysterious dark for nourishment,
Feeding the unfurling bud
In it’s journey toward the sun.

© 2008 Alice Gardner

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