Viriditas

I find it difficult to think about Costa Rica when my daily tasks overflow and the biggest of tasks is to find a job.  Many applications and one interview later, I have nothing. Nada.  Not yet.  The day with its accomplishments and wastes of time sets behind me.  Although I waste some time, I proudly commit most of the time to being in the present.  But during the dark nights like this one I lay in bed, not sleeping as my body would like, rather I sit awake with uncertainties pumping the heart faster and faster.  So no, I haven’t thought about Costa Rica lately.  And indeed I feel guilty about it.

What an amazing adventure and even more than adventure, what a journey in community.  The journey is a gift waiting to be shared, but I have yet to unlock that door holding the memories captive.  By the time I do, I think most of my interested family and friends will have moved on to other news.  The words on this blog long-forgotten by those I know and left to the occasional stumbler from the land of the internets.  I know by browsing my statistics most visits are based on word searches, more specifically relating to a poem I posted well over a year ago.  Still hungering for Sufi mystic Hafiz, they come.

In the moment, my life is enriched by the greening of Seattle.  OK, it’s always green here. But Springtime cues the greenest season of them all.  So today, even as I felt sad and stressed, I stopped to give thanks for the rain and the new life springing from everywhere.  I am job-less, word-less, but not life-less.

Hildegard of Bingen, a medieval mystic and one of my heroes, used the latin “Viriditas” (greeness) as imagery for the Divine.  Here is a piece of one of her beautiful chants, with one of my recent photos of the awakening of Spring in Seattle (translated from Latin…not by me):

O viridissima virga, ave

Hail, O greenest branch,
who in the blowing gust
of the saints’ quest have come forth
when the time came
that you were in bloom along our boughs,
hail, hail to you!
for the sun’s heat sweated in you
like the fragrance of balsam.

For a fair flower was flowering in you,
which gave its scent
to all the herbs
that were dry

And these then all appeared,
full in greenness.

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Morning Stillness

Still Morning
This is an intermission between the written record of my Costa Rican journey to bring you this photo from earlier this morning.  I awoke promptly at 7:00am for no reason other than the light emitting through my window. A quick glance through the curtain revealed a mystical world shrouded in white and gray.  Another foggy morning in Seattle.  This time, I saw the beauty and gasped in wonder rather than moaning in displeasure.  Having little else to do, I grabbed my camera, put on some shoes and bound out the door into the foggy morning.  Quietly passing dark houses, I walked down a tree-lined trail to Lake Washington. Still as I have ever seen it, the large lake was reduced to a matter of the short distance I could see ahead before all faded to gray.   It is February, yet even with this blanket of clouds and stream of wet dreary days, there are signs of life.  I climbed back up the hill and home, thankful that cherry trees are blossoming, daffodils are rising, and the fog gently rolls in and out, reminding me that for the climate here in the north, new life leads winter into spring.

Finally Spring

Even as the coming night will bring cooler temperatures and potential rain, I rejoice in the arrival of spring. Oh, spring has been around, as plants and trees have been blooming for months–yet the spring in Seattle was slow and chilled. The sudden appearance of the sun this weekend had me jumping for joy. Lack of sleep on Thursday night led me to arise before the sun in the morning. I sat on the front steps with a cup of coffee and released those indwelling fears and frustrations while the light slowly came to be. Peace came to my morning when I sat quietly and observed the crows darting around, looking for material to build a nest…then a hummingbird so gracefully sipped nectar from the garden flowers. Saturday morning was again greeted with a fresh brewed cup of coffee on the front steps, this time I felt more alive.

It is spring outside, and it is spring in my heart, too (oh there’s a long road ahead, and stress for sure, but I can rise above it).
Spring is Here

Resurrection

opening up

It’s time to turn around and pay attention. It’s time for me to wake up, and walk in the morning light–to shed the dead in me for new life. Something in me has changed; there’s no going back, and I don’t want to go back to an old life of fear and doubt. Oh, there will be both, but they aren’t going to overcome me anymore.

It is Spring; life is rising from the ground. I’m re-created and renewed. Something has changed in my soul. Out of brokenness, I am free…with more love for myself, more compassion for others.  The Dalai Lama was recently in Seattle for a five-day event on compassion.  Addressing a crowd of 7,000+ students (including myself) at the University of Washington, he said we first must have compassion for ourselves on the inside–then this self-love propagates out to the world.  May this be so.  May we live compassionate lives…

It’s Spring.  And I’m gonna live it.

unfolding: a journey of discovery, beginning, and ending…

This morning I had the first class of the last quarter at the School of Theology and Ministry. The class, Spirituality Synthesis, is going to be a wonderful end to my degree. I’d like to share an image (from my own photography) that came to me during a guided meditation. In fact, the guided meditation was about being in a rose garden and finding a bud…how interesting that I had such an experience back in January during the fabulous week of clear weather. I live near the Woodland Park Zoo, and was on a day-long journey one Sunday with some dear friends. It all began in the rose garden just outside the zoo entrance and led me from sunrise to sunset; at the rose garden and through the Fremont neighborhood…

January Bloom

In a way, this is where I am at: emerging from a winter spirituality and dark days into new life, a bud ready to unfold again, to live into the resurrection. I am discovering and rediscovering my gifts and where I might use them in my life ahead both in the present and the time after graduation. With joy and anxiety, I approach the end of my MA in Transforming Spirituality degree as both an ending and beginning. Unlike most of my classmates who approach the end, I want to leave (note: they are mostly middle-aged). The School of Theology and Ministry has been a transformative experience for me, and yet the majority of my life has been identified through the eyes of being a student.

Well, I’m ready to be done. Ready to leave behind academia and explore. I’m still a young adult, I am a world traveler, and I am not married. So how shall I unfold? That, I am waiting to find out…so here I go, plunging into the vast possibilities…