At Beltane, the mid-point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, the gathering light and heat of the season are coaxing growth from the warming soil and nudging us out of our winter cocoons. In this season, we celebrate fertility and look forward to the growing season and harvests ahead. Our own energy, nurtured by a winter of reflection and dormancy and stimulated by sunlight and warmth, is also ready to burst forth. To me, this is love – emerging from the ground, blossoming in the trees and singing from treetops – swelling in my heart.
At the same time, we are preparing to emerge from just over a year altered by Covid-19, a year marked by grief and loss, isolation and fear…and also by incredible acts of generous and creative love. Individuals have stepped forward in countless ways to support one another, keep one another safe and advocate for one another.
We have been reminded that love is not only a disposition, it is a discipline. Love manifests in our daily acts of kindness and generosity – our work for justice, getting dinner on the table for our loved ones, bringing dinner to a lonely neighbor, holding the door for the person walking into the store behind us, smiling gently at the driver who cut us off on the highway.
As we take our first tentative steps toward re-opening, it feels useful to reflect on how we got here. I recently re-read a long list of questions that emerged last March when we first began to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
*I do not have any answers, but I am sitting with openness, curiosity, and a strong belief in our capacity for change. Hope lives here. I offer some of it to you:
As we spend more time in our homes and local communities,
What bridges will we build?
What support will we offer to others?
What support will we need from others?
As we notice the impact of our lives on the lives of others,
Will we claim our participation in the web of life?
Will we remember the legacy of survival that ensured our lives?
Will we remember that we will one day be the ancestors in someone else’s story?
As we recognize our depth of responsibility to the interconnected human family,
Will we also notice our connection with all living beings?
Will we notice our interconnection with the living, pulsing earth?
Will we notice that we are, in fact, One?
The lily and tulip spears nudging their way through the barely thawed soil in my yard are a prelude to the new season. May we also enter the season as neophytes, open to the promise and surprise of our own unfolding.
*Excerpted from Arriving Here: Reflections from the Hearth and Trail.