The tipping point of winter came on Tuesday. I was able to take a walk after work and breathe deep down into toes. Shoulder muscles relaxed as I listened to the same new song over and over. It felt like hope was being infused in the molecules of the air, a raw waking up after winter’s hibernating dark. Gratitude came rushing in with a force that made me tremble.
I cherish the rhythms of this natural world. But I am also always slightly hungry for change and never so much than with the coming of spring. I can now see a wash of green beneath the brown grass and spy tiny buds on our trees and hear the return of a bird’s song in the dawn and almost weep with relief.
For all the gifts and beauty winter presents, I still feel more than anything like a survivor who came too close to the edge.
This week the stories of Mary Oliver and Family of the Year and Savor have helped usher in the tiny life-giving signs of spring. And I feel in my head and heart a sort of hopeful euphoria as I clean and walk, cook and work in days very similar to January and yet…not.
As David Benner writes, “The whole world is sacred–as is everything within it and beyond it. Presence is an act of realizing the sacredness of life and of everything that exists. It is an act of awakening. It is a moment in which our eyes are suddenly opened and we see what truly is as it truly is.” Thank you spring and poetry and music for awakening me to the sacred story going on all around.
Why wonder about the loaves and the fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don’t worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it is all those things.
Eat, drink be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love. —–by Mary Oliver