Each spring life arises anew, and here in California’s Sierra foothills, it is spring. While the higher elevations still lie hard frozen under a massive new snowfall, here we awaken.
After the rainfall of last week, green shoots are everywhere stretching for the warming sun – reaching, in their way, into the future without plan or hesitation. Tomorrow may bring snow but the impulse to arise is irrepressible and steadfast. Here, water is running in the creeks toward the sea, with equally irrepressible energy, without hesitation or plan, moving as that primeval energy, the one moving us all.
We begin to flow anew with the waters of life in the spring. In fact, we are these waters. Our bodies, made up of 98% water, awaken with these natural cycles. Our ideas may interfere with our natural flows, but they cannot entirely silence the call from our cells and from our connected hearts. We arise with the greenery. We stretch out of the safety of the shell-incased seed and reach forward on our evolutionary pathways in the unique ways we are called to. We flow towards the sea, in spite of all impediments.
For us humans, our evolutionary way forward can often seem clouded. Our knowing what to do at this time in the world often may feel hidden behind a plethora of confusing thoughts and feelings. It can be a feeling like being lost in the fog while grasping for knowing something to do about all the world’s problems. It can feel hard break free of old patterns and free ourselves for movement and for a sense of having made a good kind of difference in the way things are going. In times of darkness, we must remember that clouds are passing phenomena. Above them, the sky is steady and sure.
Just as the sky above rests in stillness behind the passing clouds, our way forward in the world is similarly steady and sure. We are a part of something larger than our limited local sense of ourselves. We have only to observe nature to see that each element of the web of the natural world has a part to play stretching far beyond the ability of each part to conceive it. There is a natural order at work here, a network of connections that works, quite aside from our ability to conceptually identify our role with our thinking. We cannot even conceive or control, in our own bodies, which hormone to secrete next to keep our body’s delicate balances, or what rate to have our heart beat, to meet our current exertions. This is all beyond the control of our mental processes, and yet it happens beautifully. Our minds may not have the breadth to allow us to see the whole process, but we at least can be aware that it is there and it is working.
There is also a sense that we have separated ourselves from this wholeness which is working in spite of us – a sense that when we developed these conceptual minds, and then identified with our conceptual version of ourselves, we lost touch with something we now need to reconnect with. Finding our true identity, the “I am” in us which is rooted in the web of life, stands out for me as our collective evolutionary pathway. We have journeyed so far from the times where more primitive peoples were immersed in the natural world and not yet able to have ideas and inventions that would change humanity forever. This has not been an error – and now it is time to come full circle and embrace all that we are.
If we can trust the certainty and stability of the sky remaining above us beyond all the passing clouds, let us also trust the uprising of the natural world in the spring and sense how this greater being that we also are is asking us to arise with the new grass and flow onward with the water. This is what the world needs.
May we recognize what is beyond our thinking and honor it with our attention in every way we can. May we find our deeper identity this spring and awaken to see the natural world arise around us, as us.