- Frances Schwabenland
A Genuflection To Spring
Those who know me, know that John O'Donahue is truly my favorite Irish poet and philosopher. As a master wordsmith, John's wisdom and insights cause me to read and reread his works, to take in the depth of his thoughts and to be enlightened by his profound vision. When I stood at his grave in Ireland, I looked down to pick up a rock to take home with me. I put forth the intention that I wanted to find one in the shape of a heart and there it was. Now it sits in a place of honor where I write!
Today, this first day of spring, my heart is calling for an honoring reflection in communion with those around the world. In Japan, Buddhists participate in a week long celebration called Higan, which means to arrive on the other shore. The Japanese reflect on their paths and honor their ancestors. In England, many gather at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise. On the first day of the Spring Equinox, Persians prepare a table of food and spring flowers to symbolize rebirth, health, prosperity, patience, and beauty.
In China, the first day of spring is celebrated as the Pure Brightness Festival. They sweep tombs, filling them with flowers and decorations as a show of respect.
Thousands of people in Mexico wear white as they gather together to celebrate the first day of spring. Many climb the 360 steps of the great pyramid to get closer to the portals of energy and as the sun rises, people open their arms wide to embrace the warmth and light. Three days before Bali's Spring Equinox celebration, every Hindu statue of the gods is taken to the river and cleansed.
This day is a marking of a beautiful transformation. The world breathes in deeply and lets out a collective sigh of gratitude."We made it through!" So with and in a spirit of genuflection, I want to share a poem entitled, "Blessing of Beauty" by John O'Donahue that came to me today:
May the beauty of your life become more visible to you that you may glimpse your wild divinity.
May the wonders of the earth call you forth from all your small secret prisons and set your feet free in the pastures of possibilities.
May the light of dawn anoint your eyes that you may behold what a miracle a day is.
May the liturgy of twilight shelter all your fears and darkness within the circle of ease.
May the angel of memory surprise you in bleak times with new gifts from the harvest of your vanished days.
May you allow no dark hand to quench the candle of hope in your heart.
May you discover a new generosity towards yourself and encourage yourself to engage your life as a great adventure.
May the outside voices of fear and despair find no echo in you.
May you always trust the urgency and wisdom of your own spirit.
May the shelter and nourishment of all the good you have done, the love you have shown, the suffering you have carried awaken around you to bless your life a thousand times.
And when love finds the path to your door, may you open it like the earth to the dawn and trust every hidden color towards its nourishment of light.
May you find enough stillness and silence to savor the kiss of God on your soul and delight in the eternity that shaped you, that holds you and calls you, and that you may know that despite confusion, anxiety and emptiness, your name is written in heaven.
May you come to see your life as a quiet sacrament of service which awakens around you a rhythm where doubt gives way to the grace of wonder. Where what is awkward and strained can find elegance and where crippled hope can find wings and torment enters at last into the grace of serenity.
May divine beauty bless you!
Wishes that this spring will hold a very special unfolding and opening for you!