Spring in the Calendar of Nature and Soul
Author: Jos Graf
[This article from Earth Vision introduces the Calendar of Nature and Soul - a journey around the seasons, along the trail of soulful ecology:]
Below is the first segment of A Calendar of Nature and Soul, an e-book that uses the 52 weeks that spiral through the year, taking Easter and spring as a starting point. Week by week, the fabric of the soul’s biography, is counter-woven with nature’s annual rhythms.
(Week 1: Easter Mood April)
In the darkest hour the robin begins its overture, which carries through until dawn draws out an array of avian accompanists. In the morning light, flowers announce restoration. Nature’s flora and birdsong, underpinned by the quiet cello phrasing of a tumbling stream, incite an insurrection in the soul. And from the heart of this fervency, like an inkblack crow against a blue and cloudwhite sky, a vision of enterprise for the year ahead unfolds its wings, an imagineering elevated now by having endured the austerity of winter.
Through the doorway of spring, inward resurrection confronts incarnation's formidable peril by means of its victory of spirit over matter.
Plying the air with bold strokes, the crows that rally now to nest scold passersby with an intonation abrasive to those not endeared to Corvus mannerisms. Marauding bands, combing turf, taking turns as sentries, work all angles of opportunity. The inner crow, like its archetypal raven cousin perched on Odin’s shoulder, is sensitively perceptive, cooperating with “cohorts” of the psyche to ensure provision.
Too much gypsy wanderlust can lead to a life shiftless and empty. And there, but for the grace of God, goes the millennial everyman, for the crow that scolds admonishes him to attend his own nest, a roost of creativity now clamoring with fledgling petition. For the soul, holding vigilant through the long winter of nature’s dormancy, and enduring the tribulation of seasonal purging, now enters the resurrecting force of spring.
New ventures - joining a choir, improvisational dance, new friends - are initiatives akin to the profuse blossoms on the limbs of an orchard. The blooming becomes a living soul-art, too ethereal to be assigned to the physical world, a crafting initiated from the finer echelons of the inner realm.
And by midday, bearing the resplendence of this blossoming in his soul, he visits with an elderly friend. There, a wealth of memories over eight decades flows through their freeform conversation, like a Charlie Parker recital interspersed with a few poetic interludes of Auden, Wordsworth, and Spender. Though his lifelong companion has taken up residence on an Alzheimer cul-de-sac, with soul-caring wisdom, the aged one uses the social visit as a holiday from grieving, a stance of spring to overcome winterland blues.
A pair of spiritual ecologists strolls through the enchantment of spring flowers, their conversation unraveling around humanity’s interface with nature spirits, and the importance of freeing them through effective forms of communion. According to Anthroposophists and members of the Findhorn community, humanity and the elementals can work together in a creative fashion. But until the human community consciously embraces a grander relationship with nature than the hegemony of the day, the elementals remain trapped, caught up in the comatose of the materialistic perspective.
Due to the intense resonation underway now between nature and spirit, spring is an especially powerful ascendancy to fashion an intimacy capable of contributing to the freedom and evolution of earthbound beings. According to Rudolf Steiner, “the entire soul-destiny of mankind has been crucified upon the cross of materialism…and until mankind comes to see how the present way of knowledge, which clings to the senses and to them alone, is nothing but a grave of knowledge out of which a resurrection must take place - until it sees this, it will not be able to experience the thoughts and feelings which truly belong to Easter.”
The overcoming of death is now upon the altar of circumspect. Through the doorway of spring, inward resurrection confronts incarnation's formidable peril by means of its victory of spirit over matter. While during autumn, it is the will that opens the inner portal, during spring, contemplation serves as the key.
In the final hour of his annual spring fast, his attention is drawn to the star-like form of the wild Easter lily, a spring herald that matures into a gracefully curved gesture bending down to shine its six petals upon the earth. At the same time, a sunray center with a star-like periphery ascending within his soul turns to shine back into its shadowy origin, like a lantern in a tomb, an expression of elegant charm rising above confinement.
Now spring buds, responding to the draw of the sun, rise into the effusion of light. Interior songbirds proclaim joy and anticipation. An oratory of freedom swells and rises. Spaces give the impression of widening, foreshadowing an urge to stretch out to furthest limits, as there streams down like a sunray a summons to ascend into summer’s oceanic expanse.
The soul, having kept its winter vigil through to the pivotal event of Easter, is suffused with a glow. Late winter was a time of purging, old habits falling in a heap at the foot of mounting resolve, and a time of attending the emptied spaces that offer sanctum. At the end of the year, during Week Fifty-two, life reaches down from the heights to the depths. In the beginning of the year, during Week One, consciousness strives up from the depths to the heights. The beginning and ending of the year unite and commingle in a harmonious counterpoint.
For further explorations of the Calendar of Nature and Soul, visit the Earth Vision website.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josef Graf is the coordinator of Insight21 and the sister site, Earth Vision - doorways for the 21st Century.