Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Rain and shine

The clarity of Easter morning, those early hours with the moon bathing coldly in its void, was the commencement of what has been a lengthy period of beautiful and calm weather.
This may have begun some time before, but my memory does not concern itself unduly with such matters until they coincide with something it recognizes as being of importance: something involving my spiritual awareness, and my journey towards that which calls me endlessly towards and beyond the end of my life here in this world.
All thought of what occurred on that Resurrection Day, and what became available to me – to each of us – through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, focuses my senses on the superficial but potentially symbolic aspects of everyday life.
I say potentially because symbolism only exists in the mind of one who recognizes it.
At times I find meaning and relevance in a wide range of experiences, places, times, words and people, and through its ability to go almost unnoticed (in any meaningful way) by the majority of people, the weather has to be counted among those aspects with a mere potential for further meaning.

In one way or another we tend to take it for granted, whatever it may bring.
If it pours with rain, we comment on it – usually unfavourably - and if the sun is too hot for too long we long for the rain. We may be delighted or depressed by it, fascinated or bored with it, but even our delight and our fascination can be enjoyed in a matter of fact, routine, until-the-next-time kind of way. The weather is there; it was there yesterday, and it will be there tomorrow.

But the awakening echoed in that Easter morning makes the weather’s place in the scheme of things so plain, so simple, so real.
I do not understand its importance or relevance any more than previously, but its significance is somehow autographed across my consciousness by the hand of the Supreme Creative Artist, leaving me enthralled by my own presence within the very basics of physical existence.
The weather, in all its shades, breathes life into the seasons which are themselves the raising and lowering of nature’s heart, and hands, and face, in praise to God.
The seasons cannot exist without each other, and within their ebb and flow, the sunshine gives life only so long as there is rain, and the rain brings life only so long as there is sunshine.
In heat and in cold, in rain and in shine, in darkness and light, in dusk and dawn, each touch, scent, taste, sight and sound becomes a breath within us: a whispered ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us!

It is much repeated that one is never closer to God than when in a garden.
The Genesis story tells us that this is how it was meant to be, with the whole of the Earth as the garden for all mankind.
Eden was planted for both man and God: -
‘The man and his wife heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day …’ (Genesis 3:8)
In today’s world, where so much of mankind has turned away from God, and where so much of Eden has been stripped bare, raped and left for dead, it is not by chance that we are stirred into an awareness of a presence in our own private gardens. Amid their quiet comfort and familiar safety, we bring ourselves within reach of a recognition long missing from our lives: - the sound of God walking close to us in the cool of the day.

‘… God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it.’ (Genesis 2:15)
Whoever we have been created to become, whatever our individual places in God’s plan, the gardener was born in us from the very beginning. We each come closer to being ourselves when we create or maintain a garden. It is an inbuilt guide as to how we should care for the Earth and all that is in it.
We are called to clear the ground that lies neglected, to prepare and to care for the soil; to plough and harrow, to plant and sow, to reap and glean, to gather the harvest, and to produce a meaningful fruit from our labours.

The whole process is an inner longing which points to our call to seek and to follow, and to work towards the harvest that we can help to germinate in the soul of every person we meet.

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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