This week has a divine quality to it. As though my normal activities have taken on more significance. In this season of renewal and rebirth, I am distinctly aware of the holy and revered. Or it could be the extended hours of light that elevate my spirit. After a particularly harsh winter, I am desperate for signs that better days have indeed arrived. Even as an Alberta Clipper is anticipated today in my neck of the woods, there is a sure impression that spring has begun. That silent presence of the sacred is palpable. In the thawing earth, the emerging snowdrops, in the fattening buds on the pussy willow.
So my mind has been tuned in to the talk of God in the media. Who is God Today? The Future Of God. Faith And Spirituality. Captions to provoke the mind and get one to think, start a dialogue and with any luck, understand ourselves better. I have been ruminating on this matter too.
Nature is my temple. It is amongst the trees, the birds and butterflies that I sense the presence of the source of all energy. In the call of the cardinal, the raindrop beaded Alchemilla, the perfection of the spider’s web, I’m conscious of something bigger than myself. So much bigger.
Who has watched a sunset or sunrise and not been struck with awe? The sight of a rainbow is cause for pause. Every single time. Which one of us is immune to the newly unfurled rose?
Every time I work in my garden, it is in service of that higher presence. I meditate as I weed, I pray for the well-being of that which I plant, I vow to do better in my efforts. As I work, I surrender my fears and anger in the conviction that I will be freed from the shackles that hold me down. Answers to problems are revealed when I’m focused on doing something useful beyond myself. Being occupied in the garden strengthens me physically, mentally and emotionally.
Nature delivers eloquent sermons in showing the cycle of life from seed to fruit and back to seed. I bear witness to miracles all the time – the transformation of the caterpillar to butterfly, the explosion of blooms on what looked like mere sticks just a few weeks ago, the cicadas that know to surface at just the right time. From the tragedies of failed plantings, destroyed nests and hard work coming to naught, I am taught that life has ups and downs but that I cannot stay down. I must get up and keep going. Trusting that things will work out is a matter of faith. Learning to accept what I am dealt is just as important as dreaming big.
In minding nature, I am never lonely. After all, we are each a vital part of a beautiful whole. I see how kindness matters – our returns in the garden are directly proportional to the care we put in. Coming in from the garden, I am invariably converted. I am not the same person who went into the garden earlier. I believe that this is how I pray best. The wind carries my intentions and my wishes. The Universe will deliver.
(c)2015 Shobha Vanchiswar