Two years ago we welcomed spring during a time of unprecedented lock down, a time of global shifting. Suddenly, there was space for an extended wintering. I look back on that time and remember very clearly my sense of gratitude; though I was close enough to the fear and anxious trepidation around me, I was also keenly aware that we were most likely living through a very important and necessary existential adjustment. And deep within me, hope began to germinate, for I had been approaching a level of despair that felt inexorable - despair for the world and the human conditions that are destroying life and creation.
But it felt like a dirty secret somehow. How could I be positive about the human suffering caused by this global pandemic? As a chaplain, a spiritual companion, how could I quietly celebrate the great pause that was causing so much pain and tumult?
Were it not for my time in seminary, I doubt I could have answered that question with genuine faithfulness. What my time at the Boston University School of Theology taught me is a more grounded understanding of the ancient truths of human story and our long struggle to evolve. What I continue to know, two small years later (not even a blink in cosmic time), is that this pandemic is a part of an ebb and flow of existence controlled by a power so much greater than myself, so much greater than the powers that portend to govern and shape our modern lives.
This knowing propelled me to dig deeper into the very meaning of my existence and the meaning of my own infinitely small story. Ultimately, this digging unveiled more mystery and aching questions than certainties and comfort. And what has blossomed in the spirit of spring is a renewed faith in the seasons, in nature and its inexorable great turning.
So as I reflect on the process of the pandemical seasons, I wonder, what has nurtured my inner blossoming?
What has nurtured my blossoming?
Ultimately, what nurtures my blossoming is a faith in the powerful embrace of ebb and flow. When I stand like a tree and receive with a wide and open heart, vulnerable to both sun and rain, the seeds of hope and love are fertilized. And I continue on, believing in the blessing of it all.
Standing Like a tree with my roots dug down,
my branches wide and open.
Come down the rain,
come down the sun,
come down the fruit
to the heart that is open to be
standing like a tree……..