Dancing In Springtime

Hilltop Maples

The budding trees dance their welcome to the Springtime.
You never know when it will be the last one.   Anything
can happen, and for all its brilliance and potential, mankind
has once more pushed this spinning globe right to the brink.
Nevertheless, today the sky is blue and sap is rising,
and robins dart in little flocks above the fields.  It’s true,
what the poet said about hope.  It springs eternal.  So
let us dance and may the life within us swell in gladness.
Why are we here at all, if not to give thanks?

Visiting Grandfather Pine

Grandfather Pine

A moist, cold wind set in as Little Pine approached the end of the pond where Grandfather lived and the woodland grew dark.  But Grandfather himself was bathed in a magical golden glow that radiated all around him.

He looked so majestic that Little Pine hardly dared to speak.  “Grandfather!” he finally breathed.

And the ancient tree, in a voice as warm and golden as the light that surrounded him, said, “Greetings, Little Pine.  I have been looking forward to visiting with you.  I wanted to thank you for all you have done to help prepare for our Festival of Light this year.”

“But Grandfather,” Little Pine said, “all that I have done is share the news that the Elf King and the Spirits of Fun are coming.  And I learned so much and had such a good time doing it that it felt like play.”

“That’s how you know that your work is well-suited to you, Little Pine.  It feels like play.  The Spirits of Fun would be as proud of you as I am.

“You performed a great service for your friends, the elves, Little Pine.  And service to others always brings us joy.”

Grandfather paused for a moment as the wind danced through his needles making them glisten in the golden light.  Then he spoke again.

“Tell me what lessons you learned, Little Pine, as you shared your news.”

“Well, Grandfather,” said Little Pine, “I learned that the Great Yes understands the mysteries that we cannot unravel and that we can take comfort in trusting that.  I learned to hear more deeply the songs that all things sing, and to recognize they all rise from love.  And finally, I saw, as I have never seen before, how beautiful our woodland is.”

“Your heart has gathered great treasures, Little Pine.  You are wise beyond your years,” Grandfather said.  “The night is coming now, little one.  Head home with joy in your heart.  Your joy and your thanks are the gifts that you give to the Yes, you know.  Let them flow from you freely, and be glad.”

“Thank you, Grandfather,” Little Pine said.  “Enjoy the Festival!”

“You, too, Little Pine,” said Grandfather.  “Now, good night.  And remember to pay attention to your dreams.”

After Harvest

Corn Field After Harvest

The last of the crops are gathered now, and the fields settle in for their season of rest.  They’ll sleep in peace beneath the coming snows, glad for the quiet, glad for the memories of all they could contribute to the the children of the earth.

And November will bless them with lullabies that sing, “Well done,” and send them the thanks of earth’s children on the last of the warm autumn winds.

A Yes of Silence

Yellow Flowers after Rain

Green mists and a milky sky covered the day.  Birdsong slid to earth on slivers of rain.  You wanted to be a small winged one that could hover beneath clover leaves, beneath the petals of flowers.

You wanted to whisper your thoughts, if you dared to think them at all.  It seemed too soft a day to do anything bolder.  Breathing was enough, and watching the water pearls glide down the needles of the pine.

Even when the rain stopped and the sky opened to high silver clouds and the mists became a shimmering veil, a yes of silence seemed the only worthy thanks.

The Wildflowers’ Dawn Song

Wildflowers at Sunrise

Given the promise that rides the new light, what could you possibly do but dance?  Another day to play in the field!  Another day to bloom!

Let there be sunshine!  Let there be song!  Let there be bees and breezes!

On this bright moment, when life is full, let us take nothing for granted.  For this grand gift of light and life, let us dance our joyous thanks and praise.

The Gathering of the Trees: A Happiness Tale

Morning WoodsAfter their leaves have gone and they have returned to their essence, the trees gather to bring to a close the cycle of the seasons.

On the gathering’s first day, they are full of laughter and chatter.  They swap tales of the antics of the animals who make the woods their home and reminisce about the wildflowers that decorated the woodland floor. They talk about the weather and about the way the saplings have grown.  And all in all, they have a merry time.

But when night comes, they grow still.  Each one draws deeply into himself and sorts through the cycle’s memories.  Which one will he share?  This one, from sweet spring?  Or this from the shimmering summer?   And what of this, when autumn was in her glory?  Each day held its treasures, each was a shining jewel.

At dawn, beginning with the eldest, each tree offers his story of the moment he cherished most highly of them all.  One by one, they tell their tales.  And when the last story is told, the trees gather them all together and raise them in song to the sky in a gesture of thanks to the Yes of All Being.

And the cycle is closed and the trees prepare for their rest.

The Maple’s Song

Scarlet Maple

The maple was among the very first of the trees to turn.  Overnight, it seemed, it had traded its green for crimson and gold.  And now, with the afternoon sunlight streaming through them, its leaves glow impossibly bright and astonish us with their color.

For a moment, we stand in the warm breeze and watch them waltz on their boughs, and their dancing makes a song of thanksgiving for the lives they have lived, for the privilege of having been a leaf on a maple, with the tree’s sweep sap pushing through their veins, for the days of sunshine and rain, for the songs of birds, the laughter of children on the grass below, for the grass itself and its shining in the morning dew, for the deep sky with its sweep of clouds and stands of stars.

And we hear its song, and we, too, give thanks and add our amen.  And as we continue down the road, we hear its song go on and on, riding on the warm, October breeze.  And it takes up life inside us and sings on and on.

The Innocence of Roses

Summer Rose

There’s something so innocent and pure about roses.

Perhaps that is why we trust them so fully to convey the deepest sentiments of our hearts– our friendship, our sympathy, our wishes for another’s healing, our pleas for forgiveness, our thanks and congratulations, our pledges of love.

Perhaps that is why, when summer unfolds the petals of the roses in my garden, the memories flow so clear and free, of bouquets on my grandmother’s table, of the laughter of a friend when we walked in a garden full of roses the summer that she died, of the way my first born’s fingers curled around mine when my husband placed a pink rose on my breast.

They carry our love to one another and write it on our hearts as poems that endure, and return, singing of sweetness, and comfort, and joy.