Spring is here. I can hear the birds singing. Fresh air comes through the open windows. The thaw is underway. Easter is right around the corner. It’s not just the windows that are open, but there is something inside of me that opens up, thaws out, reaches out to the world. Wants to be out in it. With the onset of Spring it seems whatever Lenten ritual I’ve fallen under, in spite of what I have or have not done, the Spirit seems to enliven not just the outside world, but my inner world as well. Perhaps it’s just that wonderful sense of wellbeing that comes with the change in weather. I feel more connect to the world beyond my door. More alive. My souls seems to have expanded.
This seems like a good time to think about the soul. For one thing I know. The soul is not a static thing. It’s large. It embraces the world beyond my door and it enlarges me. Soul can grow. Like Spring. Perhaps being snowed in is an opportunity to read and reflect about life, or just enjoy not having to do anything, but by this time of year, even before I’m sure, something in me has become restless. That’s my soul. The sacred ground of my existence. The sacred ground of all existence.
I want to give flesh to my soul. Find a nugget of inspiration. Make marks on paper. Write. Paint. Watch the flowing crab tree outside my window budding. I pay really close attention each day, each hour if I can, because it buds, bursts, blooms, blossoms and then the flowers are gone. Then I wait for the irises and peonies to grow.
I think the soul is like my flowering crab tree. It has its own dormancy, it sits outside my window, a brown branch, with so much potential. Perhaps I’ve overlook it. Forgotten what it is capable of. So now it’s time to do soul work, soul searching in so many ways. Take walks. Watch Spring come to life. Listen to the voices of children playing outside again. In the mornings I often read the poetry of Mary Oliver. There is something about poetry that bring us to the threshold of the sacred. Connections are made. Images bringing revelation. It’s like whatever reading you do in the morning, it stays with you during the day. Shapes your day. Taking a walk, digging in the garden, the soul of poetry connects us to the soul of the world and our own life. It is the Word becoming flesh in our lives. We shape our souls and they shape us. It is the inexhaustible resource which makes life possible; which makes living worthwhile. Paying attention to these small bloomings is how we enlarge life. Then perhaps like the poet we can write the day. Take up a blank page and draw, paint, write this moment, this day, our lives in the poetry that shows the soul taking flesh in our lives.