We celebrate spring’s returning and the rejuvenation of the natural world. Let us be moved by this vast and gentle insistence that goodness shall return, that warmth and life shall succeed. Help us to understand our place in this miracle. Let us see that as a bird now builds its nest, bravely, with bits and pieces, so we must build human faith. It is our simple duty; it is the highest art; it is our natural and vital role within the miracle of spring; the creation of faith.
– Michael Leunig, When I Talk to You: A Cartoonist Talks to God (Riverside: Andrews McMeel, 2006).
I turn to Leunig each Spring. I turn to Parker Palmer. I turn to poets and artists. There’s something about the hardness of winter, the effects of increased darkness that steal in and take, or maybe just hide, our memories of life, of aliveness, of warmth, of love – real love – and of Spring, but then the darkness and coldness slowly give way and trees begin to clothe themselves in green, daffodils and lambs appear. Before 6am black gives way to blue, to shades of blue that become lighter and lighter and just after 6 the great orb of light peers over Maungakawa and I am grateful for life, for light and colour, for fragrance, for texture and for the first two green leaves on my 90-year old Plane Tree.
Parker J. Palmer writes of Spring in this way:
“…I love the fact that the word humus – the decayed vegetable matter that feeds the roots of plants – comes from the same root that gives rise to the word humility. It is a blessed etymology. It helps me understand that the humiliating events of life, the events that leave “mud on your face “ [and a sense of disgrace – thinking of the Queen song: Paul] or that “make my name mud,” may create the fertile soil in which something new can grow…
…From autumn’s profligate seedlings to the great spring giveaway, nature teaches a steady lesson: if we want to save our lives, we cannot cling to them but must spend them with abandon … [in order to] know the fullness of spring in our lives…”
- Let Your Life Speak, pages 103 & 105.