The Promise of Spring

Spring and Easter are not only arriving early this year, the beginning of the season is marked by tragedy and unrest. This seems so contrary to what this season means.

Springtime marks the end of the dark, cold season and the coming of light and warmth, bringing fertility to the earth. Throughout the world, people celebrate this season in their own traditional ways.

The colorful Hindu festival of Holi is one such festival.  Its origins lie in ancient tales of the forces of good vanquishing the forces of evil. The festival begins with huge bonfires, to burn away the evil in the hearts of men. The next day is a day of comradeship and fun, spreading color everywhere, celebrating love.

After the events of last week, piled on top of all that has been happening in the world, it’s hard to enter into the lighthearted fun of spring celebrations. And even harder to believe in the powers of good triumphing over the powers of evil.

How can I celebrate the coming of the light when fear, paranoia, and hate seem to be taking over the world as we know it?

How can I believe in the renewal of fertility when we humans do everything we can to poison, pollute, and pillage the earth?

The words of a rock-song from the late 80’s come to mind, “How can we dance when our earth is turning? How do we sleep while our beds are burning?” (Midnight Oil).

I believe we must. No, none of us are able to change the world, as I’ve said before. But we must not let fear, paranoia, and hate enter our own hearts. Spring is about the renewal of hope, even if it is just a tiny spark. It’s up to us to blow it into a huge flame.

Kabir, a 15th century Indian mystic poet, wrote these beautiful words:

Thrush at dawn

Thrush at dawn

Faith
is the
bird
that sings
to the
dawn
while
it is
still
dark

So, if you find it difficult to enter into the spirit of spring, this Easter, go out at night and find a place to sit in the dark. If you can’t find a place free of ambient light and/or noise, simply accept that this is so. Sit quietly, letting the dark enfold you, not searching for anything, just being present. Let whatever emotions come: fear, sadness, anger. Offer your tears and struggles to the dark.

Then reach deep down into your heart, bringing up that little spark of the love, compassion, or caring, you feel for the world. Feel its presence, beating inside you, like a little bird singing to the dawn.

Don’t stop caring. The earth renews its promise every spring. Let us renew our faith in the same way.

6 Comments:

  1. Oh Maddi, that really says it so well. I believe that being in nature, absorbing its beauty, and recognizing its constancy is the only way to heal.

  2. Michèle Kemper

    Hello Maddi, your words so right.- It’s a difficult time and it is good to see the good things of our life.
    We should to be try, breaking out of the darkness, like a chick out of his eggshell. Because only there is the light.
    I wish you a wonderful eastertime. –
    With many painted eggs. : )
    Michèle Mi Ke
    Michèle/MIKe

  3. Thank you, Michèle! My hands are all colored right now from painting eggs. As if it were Holi ! 😉

  4. Mary Lou Gillette

    Dear Maddi, yesterday afternoon our condo’s central green was filled with the happy laughter of our neighbors’ children celebrating Holi. Today I watched our own little family sitting together, dying and creating tiny scenes on the eggs I had blown out at midnight. Up again before dawn, I heard a bird calling out little cheeps as it moved about in the dark on the patio. Our day was a such a happy one. Tonight I read of another dark event shattering the peace and joy of these holy days that will spread throughout the world tomorrow. It has been so good to find your words and the positive, posted comments that followed. We will keep on with our little sparks of love and compassion and together we will take the fear out of the darkness.

  5. It’s all we can do, Mary Lou. Thank you for these beautiful words!

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