Spring overall. But inside us
there’s another unity.
Behind each eye here,
one glowing weather.
Every forest branch moves differently
in the breeze, but as they sway
they connect at the roots.
Rumi

 

Cece looked up at me with wide blue eyes.  She seemed to be deciding on whether to hide behind her mother’s legs or continue watching this new stranger in her home.  She chose the latter, likely comforted by her mother’s laughter and effusive welcome.

She reached down and offered me one her toys.  The floor around her was covered with small wooden balls and cups in different colors and sizes.   In her hand was a red cup.  Cece’s mother, Ellen, and I understood this timeless, welcoming gesture.  It was a simple but clear invitation from Cece to sit and join her.

Springtime offers a similar gesture to humans and other species.  Each year, she invites all to put aside the immediacy of the never-ending list of wants and things to do, and, instead, join in reveling and praising the gift of existence.  Like Cece, there is a fragile innocence to Spring, as the grey landscape and bare trees turn into swaths of rich green and brilliant yellows, reds, purples, and pinks.  By offering such raw beauty, Nature conveys a sense of trust that all are her kin and would only wish her well-being and longevity.

As we sat, I noticed a large tree with pink flowers outside the window.  The branches were gently swaying back and forth.  Some of the blossoms twinkled in the afternoon light.  a squirrel scampered along the branches of a tree outside the window.  It seemed that in that moment the entire world was sharing, exploring and playing.

Small children often bring adults back in touch with the joyful interconnectedness of the universe.  Without the filter or restrictions of language, they are attuned to the subtle, universal language of nature.  Children have a keen drive to commune with the richness of natural textures, sounds and shapes.  Their innate awareness inspires them to touch the plants, notice the creeping of a caterpillar, plop down in the sand or grass, and giggle at the sight of a bird or an animal.

Children point us to what people of the world’s indigenous cultures have known from the onset of time.  At the root, all life is an expression of the divine – all in one and one in all.  Ancient sayings and poems continually remind us to notice and celebrate the sacred vitality pulsing within each moment.   The gift of remembering is tucked into the blossoms of Spring, the patterns of the moon, the wag of a tail, and the clarity in a small child.  May we all rejoice in the ordinary gifts in the everyday!

Practice

  • Prepare
  • Comfortably seated, rub your palms together briskly.
    • Once you feel some warmth, rest the heels of your palms over your eyes.
      • Your fingers can lightly curl over your forehead toward the top of your skull.
    • Invite in a sense of ease and peacefulness.   After a few moments, allow your hands to relax in your lap.
  • Practice
    • Imagine you are sitting at the base of a large tree.  The weather is a comfortable temperature and the air is still.
      • The earth is supporting and nourishing both your body and the tree.  Pause.  Deep beneath you is the core of the planetary home to all species.
      • The trunk of your body and that of the trees receives and processes the essential vitality from the earth, atmosphere, and heaven.
      • Around and above you, space supports your capacity to flourish.
    • Breathe.
      • Revel in your kinship with the tree in breathing together – in and out, out and in.
      • Celebrate the earth that gives you both minerals and unseen layers of support so you may be upright and be a conduit of vitality in the world.
      • Honor the vastness of the sky and the gift of the sun.  Praise the Divine.
  • Transition Back Into Your Day
    • Stretch out.
    • Sit quietly for a few moments before returning to your day.

 

This poem is translated by Coleman Barks and reprinted with his permission in Mala of the Heart:  108 Sacred Poems, co-edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt, and published by New World Library.

HEARTH is published each full and new moon in honor of the wisdom that lives in all of life, every moment in every day.   KateVogt©2019

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