The force that through the green fuse
drives the flower
drives my green age
Spring has arrived in our Northern Hemisphere – radiant with the ruffles of daffodils, trumpets of pink dogwoods and the blare of crimson tulips. Birds fly with thin threads of palm fronds and sticks of cedar for their nests. Red Tail Hawks circle and dive, circle and dive.
Spring is an unstoppable force as our planet tilts back towards the sun, God of Life.
We all respond to this upward moving force. Grass grows by itself. Leaves bud and burst out of branches. Sap rises in the maples and in us.
We yearn for more life, more love in spring and promises hang in the air, tantalizing as an unopened tulip. It is a time of power for every living being.
Among the Great Lakes Algonquian tribes there was a celebration of Grandmother Maple as they held their “sugaring off” festivities.
Among the Cheyenne, ceremonies of renewal were held in the spring. Medicine Bundles were opened and the bundles were renewed upon the arrival of the first thunderstorms. Their creator god was also petitioned for another prosperous and healthy year for the Cheyenne tribe.
Invigorating Life Force
As our rain-soaked winter draws to a close and spring accelerates new life everywhere, you may feel the urge, like our ancestors did, to connect ceremonially with the miraculous life force that is coming alive all around you.
Navajo medicine men create colorful sand paintings with images of the Holy People, the sacred mountains and the sacred plants.
The person being treated for illness will then sit on the earth, right in the middle of the sand painting itself. The sand painting creates a “doorway” for the healing energies which flow to the patient and are absorbed by him.
Portal of Power
Fortunately, we can find our own portal of power right nearby and similar to the Navajo effects of sand paintings, we too can become invigorated and renewed. All we have to do is find a spring garden with new life emerging. If you don’t have an established garden, you can go to your community garden or find an arboretum or botanical garden in your area.
From all the trees –
in salads, soups, everywhere –
cherry blossoms fall
-Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
Schedule 30 minutes time for yourself, preferably in the morning before a public garden is bustling with visitors. Walk slowly through the garden. Breathe in the aroma of cherry blossoms, lavender, lilac, tulips and honeysuckle.
Allow the riotous colors of spring to vivify your senses – purples and oranges, chartreuse and jade. Feel the life pulsing around you – budding, blooming and buzzing. The plants are dizzy with their reach for the sun. When your senses are satiated with the power of this new life, find a comfortable place to sit in the midst of the fragrant plants.
Close your eyes. Listen. There may be a breeze or frogs croaking. Bees may be buzzing the lavender. Goldfinches may be chick-o-reeing. Hummingbirds may be sucking nectar from the pink roses nearby.
Here you are, sitting in the middle of your own painting. Life is coming alive all around you. Breathe in the new life.
Absorb the life force, from the top of your head, down your spine, all the way into your feet. Allow the new life to give all of its renewing power to you.
Really breathe it in. Receive its gift.
Welcome to the Spring season and to a life filled with renewal.