Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Spring and The Gospel of Thomas

April 5, 2013

Looking at the trees outside my window, and those lining the streets and covering the mountains in Western North Carolina on this day, April 5, nary a green leaf has arrived on their branches. The skeletons are yet bare-boned. But I can almost feel in my throat the energy that is ready to surge out of those trees and spring into this manifest world. Very shortly uncountable tons of gorgeous green mass will be exploding everywhere. The world is so pregnant right now!

This has been causing me to think of a profound passage attributed to Jesus found in The Gospel of Thomas, one of the documents found in the Nag Hammadi desert in Egypt in 1945.

If you bring out what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you do not bring out what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.

What if we, like the trees, are that pregnant, that ready to burst forth with what is within us which must be expressed? For each of us it is something unique – our own love, creativity, passion will be the new growth surging through us like the sap rising in the trees. The depressions, anxieties, angers, fears that we suffer may be due to damming up and not bringing out what is within.

Let’s make an intention to let go, spring forth, let the juices in the channels for our spirit come up, out and through. I like this image. I want to breathe into it. In the Book of Revelations Jesus says, “Behold I make all things new.” Let’s get ready for the new.

The Future Enters Us

April 11, 2010

My daily reading from A Year with Rilke was given the above title. It is a passage from Letters to a Young Poet which is one of my favorite volumes of all time. I first read it when I was very young, and it was as if this fellow from some other place and time had just given me to myself for the first time. And his writings continue to do this for me.

In this little piece Rilke mentions the way a house changes when a guest enters, saying that is how we change when the future enters us. The new presence –

…has entered our heart, has found its way to its innermost chamber, and is no longer even there — it is already in our blood. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be persuaded that nothing happened, and yet something has changed inside us.

This was the perfect reminder for me today. Something has entered me in the last months during a harsh and challenging winter and then with the almost violent vibrancy of spring. I don’t know what it was, could easily be persuaded that nothing happened, yet know something has changed inside of me. Rilke named it exactly for me. How am I so connected to this man? I doubt I would have even liked him had I met him, he was I believe arrogant, was solitary and dependent upon benefactors. Yet he continues to give me back to myself. Such is the mystery of art and poetry, separate from the artists and poets.

And now we, like the still barren forests, are pregnant with the future. The new presence is here in our innermost chamber and bloodstream, and will show itself imminently.

Mountain Sweetness

April 1, 2010

Today was a day to describe just to give an idea of the preciousness of life here on the mountain. It was a blue sky, warm weather day. I have decided to put in a bigger garden this year than I have ever done – I’ve usually only had kitchen-type gardens with some herbs and tomatoes and a few scattered flowers. Every year I thought I would finally take the plunge and put in a big one like my mountain friends do, and every year some huge trip has come up in the summer or something like that prevent it. So this is my year.

Mountain friends are like no other friends I have ever known. I woke up this morning to the sound of my neighbor outside running a tiller across the area we had discussed for the garden. He just decided to do it for me. Later in the day I went down to borrow a tool to help me clear a different area that’s covered with juniper, very hard to remove. Their three-year-old wanted to show me the new kittens that were born two days ago. When I was coming back up to do my work, she wanted to come. So she did, and her Mom did and we all worked together and cleared that area for new planting. Hannah, the three-year old, has her own garden gloves and rake, which she brought and utilized. Then her Papaw came up with the tiller again and turned the soil over some more. Then we drank some beers and ate wild onions out of the yard. Then we went down to see the kittens again and one had died because it was too far under her Mama’s body and suffocated. The Mama is less than a year old, too young and inexperienced they explained. Hannah got the saddest look on her face and kept holding the dead kitty. Her Mama didn’t want to bury it because she cries too hard every time she buries an animal. Hannah then brought me some eggs that she found, since their chickens lay them here and there around their property, kind of willy-nilly. A real live Easter egg hunt.

It’s just a spring day on the mountain and I feel so blessed by it. Life is good.


March 9, 2010

I spent the day with friends yesterday including my friend Karly, who will be giving birth to a little girl in the coming days. While at their home in Knoxville I heard birds singing – a sound I hadn’t heard yet up where I live on the mountain. Every chirp seemed to impart a visceral thrill. No song is more pure or beautiful, but I think it was the announcement of spring and summer that felt like a bodily release. This morning, on the mountain, I woke up to the sound again as if to affirm the credibility of the news.

Now I’m seeing Karly as a metaphor of the whole world! She’s in probably the most uncomfortable part of pregnancy, the last days. The baby is dropping, pelvic bones hurting, anticipation measured with patience. And in the woods just outside my home Iseem to feel the birds and the little shivering animals, trees and bushes all in breathless, uncomfortable anticipation – everything about two weeks away from exploding with new life.

We humans have been gestating too. Whatever this strange experience of winter has created in me is still forming. An article I am writing is at that uncomfortable place where everything I know how to say has been said, a set up for the next part which I don’t know how to say.  The due date is in a week. And the friends I spent the day with yesterday are ready for the thaw so that John can get back into his not adequately heated workshop to renew his furniture building, and Lori, the photographer, is poised to capture on film the first spring flowers as they come up from below. The Oscars have been handed out, and the artists who won them are ready to give birth to a whole new post-Oscar career. My Mom is coming home from the hospital. I feel all of nature ready in anticipation to give birth to something new.

And as so often happens, Rilke’s writing for today aligns with these thoughts.

Allow your judgments their own undisturbed development, which, like any unfolding, must come from within and can by nothing be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birth. To allow each impression and each embryo of a feeling to complete itself in the dark, in the unsayable, the not-knowing, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and humbly and patiently to await the dawning of a new clarity: that alone is the way of the artist – in understanding as in creating.
              -Rainer Maria Rilke
                Letters to a Young Poet

Here it all comes. Let’s be ready. It is exciting. Blessings be for the birth of all things.