What a week it has been! The natural world is actively awakening from winter’s long spell, and it is so incredibly beautiful. Plant and animal wisdom never ceases to amaze me at this time of year.
The daffodils are pregnant with a colorful secret that will soon burst into bloom.
The robins arrived two days ago. They found their way back to the tree in which last year’s nest remains. The song of spring is in the air!
The sap is flowing in the trees, and the Full Sap Moon was a stunning sight this week as it rose over the calm, completely unfrozen river.
The sunrises also have been extraordinary now that the river has regained its reflective quality. I love the sacred geometry of the sun rays in the photo below. Both the sun and its reflection appear as six-pointed stars, and their rays come together to form a larger star.
Although I never would have anticipated it during this morning’s frosty sunrise, today was my first official kayaking day of 2013! My husband surprised me by taking my kayak out of winter storage. (He was technically the first one on the river.)
Right off the bat, I managed to scare away the geese.
It was incredible to experience the sensation of floating again.
And no boat traffic to worry about because the New York State Canal System doesn’t open until May 1st!
I noticed autumn’s leaves resting at the bottom of the river and was drawn to the reflection of the trees superimposed over the sunken leaves. The trees will grow new leaves over the resting place of the ancestor leaves. It is all a cycle, and everything is interconnected.
This is what “river bliss” looks like! As I got closer to the mountains in the distance, the snow remaining on them blended in with the clouds.
There was a word singing in my heart and on my lips while I was on the river today:
The life force has returned, causing grass, plants, and flowers to shoot up green from the ground. The air is alive with the symphony of birdsong. Everything is yes. As the sap rises in the trees, I feel new dreams and possibilities stirring within me. They are fragile like the daffodil shoots that pushed up earlier this month outside my classroom. I was vigilant about keeping the kindergartners out of the tiny garden area during recess because I didn’t want the tender shoots to get trampled. Now that they are taller and more noticeable, the children are more aware of them, and they have learned to be protective of them and to remind their friends not to get too close. Still, I watch over them and do what I can to protect them from external factors that could destroy them before they have a chance to bloom. It’s the same with the tomatoes we started from seed earlier this month. They are vulnerable at this time – not firmly established – and need to be nurtured with great care and reverence.
After returning from the river, I came across a quote from Parker Palmer about saying “yes” to life when threatened with resurrection:
“Sometimes we choose death-in-life (as in compulsive overactivity, unhealthy relationships, non-stop judgmentalism aimed at self or others, work that compromises our integrity, substance abuse, pervasive cynicism, etc.) because we’re afraid of the challenges that might come if we embraced resurrection-in-life. Every religious tradition is rooted in mysteries I don’t pretend to understand, including claims about what happens after we die. But this I know for sure: as long as we’re alive, choosing resurrection is always worth the risk.”
Amen to that.
And also to this – one of my very favorite poems, by e.e. cummings:
i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitable earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any – lifted from the no
of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
Even though cooler temperatures are expected after today, we are headed swiftly into the lighter, warmer half of the year. The natural world is waking up and renewing itself, and my prayer is that humankind is, as well – and that more of us will open to our senses and intuition and say “yes” to the life force that seeks expression through us. I think again of the daffodils that are about to bloom outside of my classroom and how briefly they will exist as a flower – but how important it is for them to do so. Could you imagine a daffodil choosing not to bloom? How are we any different, really? When we say yes to life, we help to heal and beautify our world. The only reason to fear death is if we haven’t truly lived – if we remain closed in a bud, afraid to bloom. That is one hefty regret!
It takes courage to bloom, and although others can support and encourage us, it’s something we ultimately have to do ourselves. But perhaps we can slow down, take a good look around, and be inspired by the irrepressible “Yes!” of the natural world during springtime.
Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring!
© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss (www.riverblissed.blogspot.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.