By Pat Pintens
I have been walking and watching spring. I always do. As I walked and watched during this time of ‘sheltering in place’, quarantines and closed doors, closed shops and restaurants, it occurred to me that spring is so much about opening.
The ground opens to new shoots of grass, dandelions, crocuses and tulips. The buds on the trees are swollen, ready to open. The creek has broken open, free from the snow and ice that held it bound all winter. The days are opened up by more hours of sunlight.
On Easter Sunday Jesus’ disciples found his tomb open. We usually say ‘empty’, but what if we were to use ‘open’ to describe his tomb? How it was opened remains a holy mystery. Aren’t fragile shoots of grass opening a hardened earth, and tiny leaves emerging from dried looking twigs also part of a holy mystery?
I will continue to walk and watch. I will continue to wonder - as in ponder and as in stand in awe before it all. I will ask myself: What am I ‘open to’ during this time? What have I opened myself to? What am I, what are we all being invited to discover or rediscover? Are we open to the lessons of spring and the lessons of COVID-19 - whatever they may be?
Yesterday I came across this poem
by Sara Teasdale. I found the ending a bit startling, but it left me pondering if perhaps part of the invitation from COVID-19 is to reexamine our relationship with the earth, to be more open to her wonders, and the lessons she holds for us. I encourage you, after reading her words, to take a walk, to keep your eyes and your ears open, to watch spring and to learn her lessons about opening - and closing.
There Will Come Soft Rains”
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.”