About once every six weeks, sometimes more often, I meet with a powerful group of women to explore books on spirituality and/or to have a unique experience with the vast theme of Spirituality. Before the holidays at the end of 2016, I hosted my group’s Spiritual Book Club. We hired Rory Link, an urban shaman, author, poet, visual artist, musician, Renaissance man, and friend, who guided us on a Spirit Quest with loud rhythmic drumming and visualizations. We made wonderful discoveries and we can’t wait to have Rory come back for another round of spirit quests.
On Wednesday evening, my group celebrated the Vernal Equinox with poetry, quotes, and other Spring inspired readings. We also brought to the table a seed or intention that we would like to “plant” for this SPRING season of rebirth.
Colored eggs (done up with markers and colored pencils)
Michele brought eggs and a chart explaining what various images depict or symbolize. Me, being me, had to cover my egg with at least one of every image on the list below. I brought the egg with me to Ocean Shores this weekend. After doing a lot of gardening and planting of vegetable seeds, I took time to plant the decorated egg! Rick joined me in planting it right next to my dad’s fig tree, which grows big lush leaves and tiny starts of figs, but has yet to produce a ripe fig in this wet rain forest we call second home. Together Rick and I shared our intentions for this season of renewal!
SHARED READINGS: We next shared the following readings. It was pretty magical place for me to be, drawing on the egg and listening to everyone read. I used to do a lot of art, but, for some reason, I rarely draw anymore. As I was drawing, I was reminded of how lovely it is to draw. Below you will find some of our shared readings. The first three are the ones I read.
One of the spring ritual suggestions I read about is to end your days with prayer. “The earth is always a good teacher- and especially in spring. End your days this season with this prayer from the Native American Tradition.”
Earth Teach Me to Rememberby John Yellow Lark
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth Teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep in the rain.
Ute, North American
Lift one foot. Surrender
Place the other. Claim
Step by step life unfolds behind me
The future beckons me forward
The path wasn’t clear until I chose it.
It will be gone once I have passed.
The gift is in this choice to surrender and claim
This choice to create my life one step at a time.
The gift is right here where I am.
And I found this lovely poem by Mary Oliver called Spring:
a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring
down the mountain.
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring
I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:
how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge
to sharpen her claws against
of the trees.
my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,
it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;
all day I think of her—
her white teeth,
her perfect love.
And from the genius of Goethe:
When I take part in shared readings, I always make discoveries. The book below is one such gem. Kristen brought this book and read from it. The poem is from the book is below.
And here is the poem by Marge Piercy about the promise of spring:
And an inspirational quote by our 28th President, Woodrow Wilson:
And lastly, an inspirational spring poem by Li-Young Lee:
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
HAPPY SPRING, MY READERS!