Spring is such a beautiful time of year, when the new growth that has lain dormant all winter bursts forth in all its vibrancy and colours. Yet sometimes, with all the turbulence happening in the world, we can miss the beauty that is all around us. Being in nature helps remind us of the presence of God that is always here.
Recently, even though I was not having the best of days, I knew it was time to trim back the Salix in our garden. This is a job I love to do. It takes at least 4-5 hours as I cut back every little branch one by one to the point of new growth.
I was rained off several times, but I steadfastly went back to my task, all the time aware of working with the detail of each branch as well as keeping my sights on the whole tree: doing my best to keep it in a good shape as well as encouraging new growth from its centre.
It was a spiritual message for me as I worked away. By patiently doing what was mine to do, my spirits were gradually lifted; especially as I was working on a plant I love and appreciate. In giving my time and energy to the Salix, I received the touch of gentleness and beauty it invokes in me.
I also know it serves me to look at the detail of my life, working with the thoughts that are best cut lovingly back into shape. Instead of being long and leggy, reaching out all the time, they are to be trimmed back so that the real growth comes from the centre of my being. Turning my attention inward instead of outward strengthens and supports me so that all the trials and tribulations of the world become something that I can bless rather than curse.
And I recognise how necessary it is to step back and look at the whole picture. When we do this we can begin to see that God is in every experience, whatever is happening. It is very easy to get caught up in the detail of the world and forget the whole truth – we are all part of God, one with God, one with each other; and good is here when we choose to focus and act upon it.
I know the Salix will be beautiful again this year and we will enjoy its beauty and gentle spirit as it moves in the breeze. Further, I pray that this spring we each find time to experience the joy of nature. And as we continue to gently trim back our long and leggy thoughts, may we know the whole picture is one in which we are all supported, guided and blessed by the always present activity of God.