Sunday Evening Reflection – Spring Awakening

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That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

A Spring Walk

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems

Whenever I feel the uncertainty of a moment, a lingering fear of the unknown or sense of urgency, I go to nature and feel the strength of the earth under my footsteps. The trees bestow their gracious welcome as the sounds of the forest fill my soul with a peaceful silence. The sky, the wind, the sun and clouds remind me that I belong to this world. I am home.

Spring has arrived.

As a global community, we are learning to reinvent our lives. The road turned and we have come upon an unexpected detour. The path may be unclear, but we are together. And that gives me great comfort. Join me on my nature walk and consider the words of the poet, Mary Oliver.

Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” Mary Oliver

The promise of spring.

Sunday Evening Reflection with Mary Jo Malo

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Tonight, as I look out into my city that is embracing the night, I feel a sense of solidarity that comes from the lights that shine in the darkness.  In a time of uncertainty, we continue to meet challenges together, as a community.

 In the darkness, there is light.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote that  “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

I have taken Johann up on his thoughts for my Sunday Evening Reflection. I feel the call of poetry and found the words have come from my dear blogger friend, Mary Jo Malo, from her blog, “This Shining Wound, Original Poetry by Mary Jo Malo.”

Mary Jo has graciously allowed me to recite her poem, “Sleight.” As I read her words, I feel that I am there in the woods with her, walking by the edge of the lake.  It is a marvelous song of winter and spring negotiating the terms of transition.  Her last lines conjure up profound memories of seasons that have come before.

I invite you to read along with me as we walk with Mary Jo Malo

 

Sleight by Mary Jo Malo, Poet from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sleight by Mary Jo Malo (pronounced Maylo)

Spring can be so
winter encumbered
I learn to walk again
layered in a long-sleeved tee
and hoodie sweatshirt
and bulky jacket
and thermals
and jeans
But the sun is hot
and will no doubt
spot and freckle
my hands and face
The old woman
I never saw myself
becoming

Far into the woods
tracing my familiar path
around the little lake
worried frogs launch
from their spawning shore
stir up muck and lurk undercover
Minnows dart beneath
woolly floating leaves
survivors of last Autumn
then frenzy back
into clear warm water
when I pass
They pull up short
out in the deep cold
murky center of the pond
where bigger fish await
to feed off their mistaken
direction

A giant carp slowly
trolls the shallow water
surrounding the island
roiling up mud and
purling water along its shiny back
Game fish lie in wait
and jump
to snap up bugs
I rarely see them hit
but hear the splash and
watch concentric circles
left behind
calmly disappear

I nearly submerge a memory
one you often asked me to remember
that pale yellow sundress
with little blue roses
and twenty tiny buttons down the front
You plucked a wild violet
from behind my ear
as if you could
keep me fooled

Cherry Blossoms Welcome April

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“Between our two lives
there is also the life of
the cherry blossom.”
Matsuo Bashō

The cherry blossoms grace our lane ways and gardens, welcoming April, the month that was, in ancient Rome, sacred to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. April is the month that gave us Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth and, more recently, Wangari Maathai, Maya Angelou and Ella Fitzgerald.  There is a warmth in the chill of an April evening, perfect for the beginning of journeys as immortalized in Geoffrey Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales.

What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.”
Kobayashi Issa

For me, April has always been about cherry blossoms.  Vancouver is renowned for our approximately 50,000 cherry trees, which flower in varying shades of pink and white.  Every year, we hold a Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

“In the cherry blossom’s shade
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.”
Kobayashi Issa

The cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower that has given birth to hanami, a century-old custom that is said to have its origins in the Nara period (710-794) which simply means flower viewing.  Families and friends gather under the canopy of flowering cherry trees to share a meal and gaze up at the delicate white and pink against a pristine sky of blue. Nighttime brings out the paper lanterns that people carefully place in the trees to add a spectacular illumination, which highlights the profound idea of the ephemeral nature of life. The blossoms come for a moment to bestow a graceful elegance,  covering pathways with petals, then, slipping away with the silent promise to return the next year.

So, my dear friends, I invite you to join me under the canopy of a Vancouver cherry tree.

Cherry Blossoms from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

“Cherry blossoms – lights of years past.”
Matsuo Bashō

Farewell to Winter

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Remnants of Winter

Remnants of Winter

Spring has come.  The daffodils announced the arrival of a new season, which was underscored by the rainy days that followed.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the world has stirred as if from a deep sleep and is welcoming a warmer sun.  Even as I embrace the energy of rebirth, I cannot help but recall the comfort of hearth and home where tea and a fine book filled the long winter nights.  Winter is a time of respite and contemplation that accompanies an inner journey.

In the midst of the new growth, the remnants of winter remain as a reminder to seize the moment, for winter will come again.

“Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.”

“Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.”

Horace