Seeds of Hope
Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul.
Welcome to the Reflection for September!
As we live into this season of fall, I have been observing the natural world around me as I go for my morning walks.
The magnificent maple (that’s my name for it) that lives next door has littered the ground with helicopter seeds in the hope that some will take root and grow into new trees in the spring.
The dried stems of my poppies are like rattles filled with seeds that spill onto the ground as the wind shakes them. These seeds are scattered in the hope that more poppies will grow next year.
The perennial plants in my garden are no longer blooming, but are sending nutrients deep into their roots and, for some, into the formation of bulbs. These bulbs contain all that is necessary for new flowers to emerge after waiting underground in the dark winter months.
Later this week, I will be planting some hyacinth bulbs in my garden, with hope and expectation of seeing their beautiful flowers in early spring.
This season of fall is most commonly known as a season of letting go, however, observing the natural world reveals that fall is also a season of preparation. The plants are preparing themselves with all that they need to grow and expand with new life come spring. At the same time, the cycles of the seasons reveal the necessity for a period of lying fallow, of resting and waiting, before this new surge of life will emerge.
As I watch all of this taking place in the natural world this month, it has me pondering the nature of hope. These seeds are being scattered, planted and nurtured in the hope that come spring, they will bear new life and bring forth new growth.
With this guidance from the natural world, our Spirit Garden Reflection this month focuses caring for the seeds of hope that live in our hearts.
With hope-filled blessings,
Hope is holding a creative tension between what is and what could and should be,
each day doing something to narrow the distance between the two.
-Parker J. Palmer, The Growing Edge
Seeds of Hope
The audio file below offers a reflection on the nature of hope and why the seeds of hope can sustain us. The reflection is followed by a handout with some questions that are intended to help you journal your own thoughts and experiences around this theme. Please print these out before you listen to the audio file.
You are invited to create a comfortable space for yourself, perhaps light a candle and make a cup of tea as you take about 20 minutes to listen to the reflection 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 reflection on Seeds of Hope.
Song of Hope
You may wish to close your reflection by listening to this song by Carrie Newcomer, Lean in Toward the Light.
Spirit Garden Moments
Spirit Garden Moments offer a short pause in your day and an opportunity for reflection. Below is a Spirit Garden Moment that invites us to reflect upon the changing seasons and to pause for a moment and gather in the harvest of blessings from the summer months.
A Time to Harvest
This is the power of gathering: it inspires us – delightfully – to be more hopeful.
more joyful, more thoughtful. In a word: more Alive.
Over the past few weeks, I have felt like I’ve been taking a long, sweet drink from these last days of summer. My husband and I spent the first two weeks of September taking one final camping trip and I think we had the best weather of the season. It was a time filled with long walks on the beach, enjoying campfires and making plans for the final quarter of the year.
On the night of the Harvest Moon, I was sitting around our campfire with a couple of my family members. Through the branches of the trees, we were blessed to witness the orange glow of the moon rising into the sky. It was a spectacular view that filled us with wonder and I hope that each of you caught of glimpse of the Harvest Moon this year.
The next day, I was sitting outside having my morning coffee and gazing into the trees. As I sat there, I could hear the squirrels racing up the tree trunks. Then there would be the distinctive sound of pine cones falling through the branches and plopping onto the ground. The squirrels were busy gathering in the harvest of pine cones to store them away for the winter months.
Listening to all of the activity of the squirrels had me thinking of the spiritual practice of harvesting our blessings. As I listened to their activity, I got out my journal and began taking note of the many small, and large moments that nourished my soul over the summer months. Going over this list, I couldn’t help but feel my heart lift and I decided to squirrel away this list of blessings to take out and read again at a time when I need some soul food.
As the summer comes to a close, I’d invite you to take a few moments of ‘harvesting’ time to reflect upon the moments this summer that brought you joy, made you smile, or touched your heart. May harvesting these memories nourish you all over again.
If you click on the button below, you will find a downloadable journaling page that you can print out and use to harvest your summer blessings.
With gratitude and blessings,
As the seasons turn and we live into these days of fall, may your memories of summer nourish you and may you plant and nourish the seeds of hope that long to grow in their capacity to create healing and flourishing in our world.
Connect & Share
Please share any comments about this Reflection in the comments below. Make sure to check out what others are posting and encourage each other!