by Master Charles Cannon and Will Wilkinson
The miracle of spring, this annual ritual of abrupt awakening, inspires us to contemplate the possibilities for dramatic personal change. Suddenly, whatever spiritual practice we usefully employed during winter can seem drab and entirely inadequate to center the brewing boisterousness of this new season.
Our meditations evolve as we emerge from our winter cave to welcome the noise of spring, with its buffet of scents and sights and runaway beauty, beckoning like an urgently deliriously, happy child. We wonder, “How can so much change happen so quickly?” And, in the very next breath, we ask ourselves, “How much awakening might occur in me this time around?”
The Native American Chief Sitting Bull said, “Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” Spring is visceral like that, the most personal of the seasons, the one that grabs us by our hope and hurls us into novelty, calling merrily as we fly over a transforming landscape that we once plodded through: “What’s possible for you, my friend?”
Here’s how one theologian described us, perhaps during a stolen spring-time moment of awed observation: “(We are) stardust now evolved to the place that the stardust can think about itself! …We are the universe becoming conscious of itself. We are stardust that has begun to contemplate the stars. We have arisen out of the dynamics of the Earth. Four billion years ago, our planet was molten rock, and now it sings opera. Let me tell you, this is good news!”1
We feel spring inside us, we always do, but this year, perhaps more than any other, our hope for personal renewal has wings. It’s counter-intuitive (but what true wisdom isn’t?) that the very confusion and uncertainty assailing us from every headline and news alert, the mind jiggling rhetoric of every alternate fact and impossible promise or threat or accusation, is providing an inescapable contrast with this dependable spectacle that will never die in committee: spring!
Spring has sprung. If ever there was a market for hope it is now, here in this laboratory of a nation where today, as we write and you read, so much of what we’ve held dear, those principles that have represented the miracle of “America,” are boiling in a beaker, not to be destroyed but transformed.
Spring is surely the season of alchemy, nature magic, when sleeping seeds show themselves and the unstoppable march to harvest begins. And so it is with ourselves within this dream we call home as we march towards an inevitable show down with the truth of life unstoppable.
We can now meditate outdoors. We can contemplate by a stream. We can enjoy a mindfulness stroll through the forest, in a park, inside a mall. There’s color and art and music everywhere, an irresistible invitation from everything our senses bring us: “Praise the God in all things, the living spirit that joins us all together in this dance of awakening!”
Cynicism has no power over spring. Neither can the mounting evidence of conflict and impending doom deter us on our path of awakening. This is what we were born for! Seeds crack open and so do we. Does it hurt them like it hurts us, feeling an obsolete comfort stripped away so we can emerge from darkness into light, announcing our belonging?
Birth is messy, there’s danger and risk. But my, look what comes of it? Worthiness, imagine that. Belonging, just as we are. Accepting what is, on every screen, in every conversation and daydream: what is… is… and will continue transforming. “Yes, this belongs and so do I,” which is the ultimate point. Every new color compliments the other during spring time, there can be no mistakes. Like us. We nestle into this season of spring, coming as we are, embracing the birth of our belonging, described so perfectly in Mary Oliver’s formidable poem, Wild Geese:
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
Over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers,
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination,
Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
Over and over announcing your place in the family of things.” 2
You belong. I belong. We belong. That is the final message of spring, chaotic and unlikely from moment to moment, assuring us over and over and over again – because we may forget during winter – that all is well, after all, that spring always comes and always will, no matter how dreary the winter was and how uncontrollable the sudden explosion of spring may seem.
We rest in flight, praising the God in all things, stardust singing opera.
2. 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv_4xmh_WtE
Master Charles Cannon is the Spiritual Director of Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality. His other books include: Living An Awakened Life: The Lessons of Love, Forgiving the Unforgivable, Awakening from the American Dream. The Bliss of Freedom, Modern Spirituality and The Meditation Toolbox.
For more information contact Synchronicity Foundation: 757 644-3400 or visit the website: www.Synchronicity.org
Will Wilkinson is a senior consultant with Luminary Communications in Ashland, Oregon. He has written a dozen self-help books and delivered programs in conscious living for forty years, interviewed scores of leading edge change agents, and pioneered experiments in small scale alternative economies. His latest book, Now or Never: A Time Traveler’s Guide to Personal and Global Transformation, was published in January 2017.