Once more we come to a time of balance in the Wheel of the Year. The darkness is quickly giving way to the light, which shone albeit weakly, throughout wintertime. The light arises, poised to overtake darkness. Shadows are becoming shorter; days are getting longer; our Brother Sun fervently grows in strength once more upon our sacred landscape. It is a time of colour, for the sap is rising and flowers are bursting forth upon the earth. It is a time of singing; the call of stag and cry of eagle, the daylight – serenaded by the dawn chorus. The sights, sounds and scents of life returning to this barren landscape are all around us, if only we choose to rest and take stock of these changes. Let us rejoice, for the God of Green Hope is clothing this landscape once more!
Since the autumn equinox, we have journeyed through cold, dark times, both physically and for some of us, mentally or spiritually. There have been times when things seemed very barren indeed. Even though life continued albeit in an almost suspended form, it was difficult at times to see any light or hope.
At the winter solstice, we celebrated the return of the light, giving hope to our land and ourselves that the barren times would once more become fertile. But now we have reached the tipping point in the year towards the light, the spring equinox, when darkness and light are held in equal balance. It is a cheerful time of explosions of colours, sounds and smells. The increasing warmth of the sun on our skin can begin to be perceived and we see change afoot in blossom and bud.
In line with his ancient promise the Triune One maintains the seasons, lovingly spreading his mantle of green across the fertile landscape. And the land… she gives birth once more.
That which has been buried deep within the womb of the earth begins to live, stirred by both the warm rays of the sun and the moisture of the rain. It has been waiting, eagerly waiting, longing for this moment when it can burst forth from the ground to open its leaves to receive life giving energy from the heavens whilst it selectively draws choice nutrients from that in which its roots have grown.
In some traditions of the Wheel we are also in the time of fertility, a time of the Spring Maiden called Ostara or Eostre. For some it is also a time of recalling the victory of light over dark, where the goddess of fertility celebrates her union with the young god of nature, and from which flows the abundance of life within the landscape that we see as time passes towards the harvests. The virile hare and the potential of new life that arises from the egg are highly symbolic of the power displayed in the resurrection of the landscape.
In the Christ Tradition, we are in what is called Lent – a time of waiting and preparation for the culmination of the work of the Divine Child, Jesus Christ. The One who willingly gave up His life, was buried within the womb of the earth and descended to the place of the dead. But the darkness could not overcome, death could not contain the Divine Creator and so, bursting forth from the womb of the tomb in resurrection power and body, He became the Giver of Life to all who long for and seek after it. The promise of resurrection life doesn’t just apply to humans, but the whole creation, which eagerly longs for its promised restoration, where Divine, human and planet may live in perfect harmony once more. His Eternal Spirit is now here, upholding and reviving the land once more in preparation for that day of cosmic transformation.
Be still, and take note of that which is around and within us. Listen, not just with our ears but with all our senses, heart and spirit. How many people can hear the pipes of the ever-present One playing the tune of new life across this sacred land of old, calling us into that relationship where we may be transformed by the Eternal Spirit who upholds and sustains us, and be empowered to become agents of change within this world?
Rise up, the winter is past, the spring is here, the song of new life grows louder every day!
Thoughts for meditation:
- How can we embody a response to the call to dance in newness of life with the Lord of the Dance as we journey through our lives?
- How are we cultivating what Abbottess Hildegard of Bingen referred to as viriditas, the fresh, fruitful and verdant fecundity within our lives as we contemplate the viriditas around us at this time of the year?