ephemeral gifts

Yesterday, I saw my first spring beauty of the season. The bloodroots are opening too. It made me think about the ephemeral moments in my own life, when something opened to bloom for a moment in time and I glimpsed unexpected beauty.

How often those moments were at times of transition, as winter into spring. This gives me hope that this too is such a time in our world, that after the starkness of this season, which has forced us all into our burrows, we will emerge to find unexpected blossoms that we cannot even begin to imagine, that even now are already here. This thought fills me with peace.

Birth. Death. Loss. Trauma. Each of these have somehow mysteriously blessed me, deepening me, opening me to the presence of Love.  It is the paschal mystery, the paradox of being human, that life here is filled with such Terrible Beauty.

In the boggier lowlands, skunk cabbage, which generated its own heat a few weeks ago to thaw the earth surrounding it in order to flower, seemingly grows a full inch even as I stand drinking it in. It teaches me too, that I can create my own warmth to push through hard times.

The small copse of trees surrounding that swamp were atwitter with birds, drawn to the insects, which were drawn in turn to the carrion scent –the scent of death- emitted by those resourceful cabbages. That fragrance is in the air surrounding us all today. It fills our breath with sympathy, with pain, with fear and despair. We are drawn to the stories by our compassion. What follows along behind that compassion may be the first hint of our own spring, songs of love.

This morning, I read the words of a Jewish man, whose family was murdered at Aushwitz when he was a boy. He beckoned to me, ‘you must learn to garden in the dark’. Planting a garden is said to be the ultimate symbol of hope- trust in seeds buried into the dark earth, trust that sun and rain will fall, trust that fruit will be harvested from the act of tending.

This morning, I ordered my seeds.

May the gifts of the earth bring healing to you this day.

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