Spring Dialogue

Spring and I are having the same conversation, over and over again.

Well, in truth, it’s my side that never changes.

I say, “You’re beautiful, thank you.”

I say, “Please slow down a bit; this is my favorite part.”

I have said this particularly to the forsythia, when it bloomed unabashedly along the shoulders of Route 17 in New Jersey, as the bus headed to New Paltz.

I say this also to the redbud, the daffodils, the crabapples, the magnolias, the glorious orange tulips, when each is at the height of their loveliness.  And, to the tender yellow-green leaves that sprouted on all the trees, such a contrast to the dark, craggy barks and aged limbs.

I have said this to the spring peepers, beginning their chorus at dusk.

To the phoebe, returning, again, to build a nest in the eaves.

To the Baltimore oriole, fluting its song in the maple.

And, most recently, I have said this to the lilac and the lily-of-the-valley, whose fragrances grace the breeze, and, like Proust’s madeleine, recall an early memory… in Catholic grade-school, as we crown the Blessed Mother’s statue with a wreath of spring flowers.

And, thus I entreat spring to tarry longer.

Spring, in response, gallops forward, inexorably becoming what it always does. And, I know that it is not possible to impede its progress. Nor, in reality, do I want to refuse what comes next…

the raised beds, yielding their summer bounty; the warm nights of firefly dances; the firecrackers in the distance, as we recall our freedom day; the blossom-heavy butterfly bushes arching over at summer’s near-end, alive with bees and hummingbirds, and fluttering with so many swallowtails and the monarchs stuffing themselves for the big journey south.

Ah, let us give thanks for the glorious and gentle beginnings; the growing and the changing; the loving and the allowing.

Thanks for the hope that every day will bring a new delight;

the trust that my heart will remain open to each new thing;

the gift of gratitude.

About Soul Intention

"Spirituality is, ultimately, about what we do with...desire. What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality." from The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. Paraphrasing what Gerald May has said, in his book Will and Spirit, spirituality is our experience and interpretation of our relationship with the Sacred. The intent of this blog is to explore for myself, and to invite others to explore with me, just what is it we do with our desire? What is our spirituality? Mine has been shaped by many things...in my formative years, by the Roman Catholic church. In the last decade, by the 12 steps. Most recently, by the Episcopal Church. And, always, always, by the sense that Nature helped to reveal the Great Mystery, of which we are all a part. So, my spirituality includes concrete practices, like the Steps, as well as probing more philosophical matters. I was certified, in January 2011, as a Spiritual Director by the Haden Institute. During those 21 months of study, which included a broad range of topics from Celtic Spirituality, to the Christian Mystics, to Jungian Depth psychology, I was given the space and time to ponder my own spiritual journey, hear about others' paths, and benefit from participation in an intentional community. My hope is that this blog can engender a similar conversation. Peace, Paul
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