I am the breeze that nurtures
all things green…
I am the rain coming from the dew
that causes the grasses to laugh
with the joy of life…
-Hildegard de Bingen
Welcome to the Reflection for June!
These days, when I go for my morning walks, I pass under the emerald green canopy of many trees. There is one in particular that always catches my attention and I will pause under her branches each morning. Her leaves shimmer with the early morning sun and I have come to call her Catcher of Light.
These morning walks in creation are a form of heart-tending. Just as the leaves on the trees absorb the light of the sun, I feel myself absorbing the energy of these green giants. This is a time of recognizing and appreciating the interconnectedness of life and being nourished by it.
During these summer morning pilgrimages through my neighborhood, it is easy to see how the 12th century mystic and activist, Hildegard de Bingen was moved to create a word to capture what she called the greening power of the Holy Spirit. Her word for this greening power was Veriditas. For Hildegard, this greening power was the enlivening essence at the heart of all of life. It is the germinating seed that grows into a towering tree. It is the inspiration of the Spirit that empowers us to act and to speak out for a person or cause. It is the creative potential that flows forth from us as we birth new possibilities in the world, and it is the healing essence that we need in order to keep the landscape of our soul moist with the aliveness of the Sacred.
These days, as we are confronted with so much hurt in our world, I wanted to provide a gentle, healing space for us to connect to the nurturing quality of this greening power that Hildegard named. It is the vital life force that helps us stay connected to our truest self and our intuition that informs and guides us in what to do and how to be a presence of love in the world.
Over the years, I have worked with a colleague who is also an interfaith minister and spiritual companion, Cristina Bordes. She has written a beautiful guided meditation based on Hildegard’s notion of greening power. It is a meditation that takes us into the heart of the forest to receive light and nourishment for restoration and healing. She has given me permission to share this meditation with you this month.
So I would invite you to create a sacred space for yourself to tend to your heart with the greening power found in the forest. May listening to this meditation strengthen and fill you with the light of Veriditas to carry back into our world.
With Shimmering blessings,
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
The audio file below offers a guided meditation on Veriditas. The meditation is followed by a handout with some questions that are intended to help you journal your own thoughts and experiences with the meditation and your own experiences with the greening power of life. Please print these out before you listen to the audio file.
You are invited to create a comfortable space for yourself and perhaps light a candle as you take about 20 minutes to listen to the meditation and then answer the questions. May this be a nourishing and replenishing time of some soul tending.
Please click on the button below to download the reflection questions that go along with this meditation.
…“and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”
-Mary Oliver, When I am Among the Trees
Spirit Garden Moments
Spirit Garden Moments offer a short pause in your day and an opportunity for reflection. The Spirit Garden Moment this month invites you to spend time with the blossoming of wild roses.
A few days ago, I sat on the beach watching the tide come in. The embankment behind where I sat was covered with rose bushes. Some roses were deep, vibrant pink and others were such a soft pink, they were almost white. Every time a breeze came up, their fragrance was carried through the air. When I caught of whiff of their scent, it made me want to inhale more deeply, as if to draw the fragrance into my heart.
Eventually, the fragrance was so captivating that I turned my focus from the water to the rose bushes. I allowed the image of them to fill my senses, along with the smell.
What I noticed was that each bush had roses that were in various stages of blooming. Some were still a bud, others were slowly opening. Some were in full bloom, while others were dropping their petals to the sand below. Each rose on the bush was opening up and expanding at its own pace and in its own time.
It made me think of all of us. We are each in various stages of blossoming. Can we trust the stage we are in and our own process of unfurling during this season of summer? Globally, as we begin to take tentative steps toward opening up from various stages of lockdown, some of us may feel like remaining the beauty of a bud for this entire season. Some of us may tentatively open ourselves to the world again and some of us are ready to blossom in full.
I was speaking with someone recently and shared that our internal seasons may not match the external seasons taking place. Collectively, we have been in a season of wintering as we shelter in place through this pandemic. Even though it is the season of summer in the external world here in the northern hemisphere, we may just be entering a time of spring in our inner world. We need to honour the internal season we are experiencing.
As I sat on the beach, the rose bush was showing me that it is okay to be in different stages of opening up. We don’t need to bloom all at once. The wisdom the rose bush offered that day was:
“There is Beauty in your natural state.
At your heart, you are wild too.
There is no need to force anything,
you know how and when to blossom.”
So as the world around us slowly begins to open up, may you blossom at the pace that is right for you.
With unfurling blessings,
“Roses do not bloom hurriedly;
for beauty, like any masterpiece, takes time to blossom.”
The Spirit Garden Reflections for June have been focused on tending and nurturing the heart. The fragrance of the rose is a scent of love and the rich colour of green is known as the light of the heart centre. In the days ahead, may you continue to be a good caretaker of your heart centre as we do the work of living in right relation to one another and to our earth. May you tend to your soul light by taking time in nature to experience the greening power found in all creation.
With ‘greening’ blessings,
Connect & Share
You are invited to share any of the words or lessons that the element of water has evoked for you, or perhaps what you look forward to each spring. May we help each other welcome the energy of this new season!