How are you doing with seeing winter through a different lens after yesterday’s storm? I hope the series The Journey Through the Gifts of Winter has shifted your perspective. Something to consider yesterday was Candlemas day occurs at a period between December solstice and the March equinox, which marks that time of the winter’s “halfway point” while waiting for the spring.
This past week was a big one for Rev. LeRoy and me. We got our first COVID vaccine shot. Neither of us had any reaction to it. The next is scheduled at the end of this month. We feel fortunate to be in the system. I recognize that not everyone is going to take the vaccine and it is certainly personal choice.
Thich Nhat Hanh, The World We Have: “When we change our daily lives — the way we think, speak and act — we change the world. It is important for us to live in such a way that in every moment we are deeply there with our true presence, always alive and nourishing the insight of interbeing. The best way to care for the environment is to care for the environmentalist.”
This series is about you, the environmentalist… You have been encouraged to do practices every day that will support you in embracing the gifts of winter. I have heard from many of you that you are enjoying this series and I am smiling and wondering after all the snow if that is still the case. In reviewing the questions in the series, are there ones that stand out for you? The practices this week also call you to the rhythm, reverence, and renewal of nature.
Rhythm: natural rhythm guides our very existence…everything we do…
- The rising and the setting of the sun and the moon…
- temperature changes from day to night…
- the tide…the ebb and flow…
- and the seasons…these all guide our daily activity.
Reverence: “The Earth sustains humanity. It must not be injured; it must not be destroyed.” Hildegard of Bingen
Renewal: the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again.
- Nature heals
- Nature soothes
- Nature restores
- Nature connects
Job 12:7-10 ESV
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
The Riches of God
The riches of God are sound and sight;
A fall of snow on a windless night.
The lift and start of the redbird’s wing.
Thy shy new leaves at the root of spring.
The starry dark and the sunny noon;
And blown white buds in the field of June.
And children’s laughter and lovers’ dreams;
And cool green shadows on quiet streams.
The riches of God are manifold,
Exceeding silver, surpassing gold;
And all may take from the endless store,
Since no man lives who is really poor.
Whoever has loved or laughed or sung,
Been gay or lovely, or brave or young,
Or walked with the wind in a leafy place,
With the light of the moon on his lifted face;
Whoever has seen with his own two eyes
The new day break in the eastern skies,
Or scattered seed on the fragrant sod,
Has had a share in the wealth of God.
Next week “Embracing Our Shadow”
Each week there is information for the Season of Nonviolence. The practice this week: Prayer, Peace
“Prayer from the heart can achieve what nothing else in the world can,” said Gandhi. Begin and end each day this week with a prayer for peace. Let peace begin with you.
An 11-year-old writes, “Peace is a special thought or a special love or light or spark that we all share within ourselves.” Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “Practice watering seeds of joy and peace and not just seeds of anger and violence, and the elements of war in all of us will be transformed.” Each day this week make a choice to meet each experience with an intention for peace.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey