The Hidden Promise of Spring . . . if we are looking

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see
.

 (Natalie Sleeth)

 . . .Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see. I wonder about my season, the one that God intends for me.

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Revealed in its season. Hidden from our view, buried deep underground and protected from icy winter winds, bulbs pulsating with energy came into their season. Unbeknownst to us, while we layered with scarfs, hats and gloves, root systems were busy in a flurry of activity, expanding into new offshoots and lateral bulbs. Then, in early February, if we were looking, new green spikes broke through the hardened earth. Now above ground, in their own time, they will erupt into colorful blooms.

In defiance of winter, this sapphire-blue crocus pushed up through crusted snow.  Splitting into two delicate teacup blooms, they romance us like two Olympic pairs skaters on ice. All this is revealed weeks before the calendar marks the Mid-March Vernal Equinox.  If we are looking.  

Go into the wilderness. There you will find your own revelations.  (Roxana Jones)

Forsythia catching sunbeams against a backdrop of gray.

We welcome this jubilant force of nature. With no help from us, spring makes her debut. Burgeoning with life, she arrives as fresh and pure as a youthful maiden, her face dusted with tawny freckles. She needs no adornments. Her golden hair catches sunbeams on a breeze. Like the mirror effect on this stilled lake, she reflects our own rebirth. Keeping her promise, she pulls us from the mundane to a cheery refrain of hope, using only the high notes.

Look deep into nature. You will understand everything better.  (Albert Einstein)

There is a calming simplicity in nature.   I ease deeply into her quiet domain, sliding into oneness with all I see.  I connect with her at ground level where earth meets sky. My soul can sing high to the heavens while rooted in place.  It is here that my two worlds meet. I teeter between my physical footing and my rising spirit. I consider the two worlds of my crocus: one an underground powerhouse of energy and the other a full manifestation of that power.  Am I in my full manifestation of what God intends for me? Waiting here, in the in-between, at ground level, anything is possible, ready to be revealed . . . if I am looking . . . if I am not afraid.

Fear not. Be not afraid.  By some counts there are 365 versions of “Fear nots” in the Bible, one for every day of the year

Fear sneaks up on me, though.  It’s shadow tiptoes by day but becomes a towering force by night, prominent in my recurring dreams.  What do I fear? Why do I fear? What does my subconscious want me to face?  In my dreams, I am on an outside service elevator being hoisted up the side of a tall building.  As it ascends, I feel the air brushing against my face. Alone and afraid of the increasing height and longing to be safely secured on solid ground, I ask how many floors up am I going?  To the eleventh floor is what I hear. I have no idea what this means but when we get there, I am relieved.  I step off and see a colorful garden, beautiful and safe. Other dreams are variations of the same theme, fear of climbing high, fear of leaving ground level.  Yet something new awaits, something to be revealed, something God alone can see, taking me from the comfort of ground level. Is this a journey I need to take? 

Journeying: A paradox of emotions

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I call myself a nomad, having relocated numerous times, but the irony is that once I am transplanted, I don’t want to venture out.  My new roots take hold and I latch on to terra firma. At present, I feel the need to cling to where I am. I think of the disciples, the fishermen, who did not cling. They left everything they knew behind, when Jesus said, “Come follow me. I will make you fishers of men.” How did they do that? Without reservations or fear? How did they leave it all behind to follow a dream of uncertainty?  They dropped their nets and followed. In my dreams, I am being asked to leave my comfort zone. Maybe I want to keep fishing.

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. (Emerson)

I am struggling.  To say that I have been grappling with this is an understatement. Why the dreams?  Why am I afraid? Why do I fear what is to be revealed when the promise is already there? I look to the heavens for answers.

No answers came and for weeks I felt adrift, unsure of the way ahead. The dreams continued piercing my days as well as my nights. Fear became a shroud pulling me down into lonely places, blocking light. That is what fear does. It separates from the light, leaving us to fumble and trip in the dark. This debilitating sense of loss was not my idea of journeying. Then I remembered something I read from Depak Chopra. He said that losing the path, losing the vision, is one of the five stages of spiritual awakening. (See link below) Then, after weeks of inner turmoil, a breakthrough.

The journey redefined: a circle. My angels have a sense of humor. They will find inventive ways to slip thoughts into my stream of consciousness. They persist, lovingly, until I sit up and take notice. Looking back, I can now see the attempts to get my attention, that went unnoticed. I was too busy focusing on loss, fearing loss. If I continue forward, what do I lose? What do I leave behind? But one word kept surfacing, persistently, until it got my full attention: circle. It showed up in my online word puzzles, but I was not looking. My weekly sing-a-long group chose “Will the Circle be Unbroken” but I was not yet looking. Then it slipped into a dream.

My mother-in-law used to train her small Yorkshire Terriers to jump through her arms that were outstretched into a circle. In my dream, I made a circle with my arms as she used to do and began to look for a dog to jump through. But there was no dog. Then I looked again and saw planet Earth through my arms, a blue and white ball spinning inside my circled arms.

Circles. Our journeys are not linear. They are circles leading us back to where we began. We seek a divine circle of unity and of self-discovery. Journeys are about returning, not abandoning. They are about discovering our own hidden powerhouses of energy, burgeoning with new life. God intends a round trip for each of us. Could it be that the early disciples felt the same way?  They were not leaving their lives but finding it?

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I do not want to give up on my journey. I think of circles as symbols of fulfillment and completion. We await our season. We are the bulbs planted here on Earth, to expand and grow, spreading out in new shoots. God does not give up on us. He sends his angels here on earth to guide us, giving us symbols of hope. What symbols help to guide you?

Finally some humor: The day came when I sat up and laughed. My grandson Lucas and I were working on a project at the kitchen table when he suggested some music. He summoned Alexa to play Disney songs. The “Circle of Life” from The Lion King played. The universe just placed an exclamation point at the end of this quest.

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And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)

In cocoons, a hidden promise

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.  
(Natalie Sleeth)

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For more on spiritual awakening see:

https://chopra.com/articles/the-5-stages-of-spiritual-awakening

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