Easter weekend. The first rays of the sun shine through the blinds. My family is still asleep, and all is quiet, a strange quiet. We have not prepared for work or school for several weeks. We are inside, ordered to stay home. “Social distancing”, a phrase new to our vocabulary and our lives. I miss my friends. I miss being around children all day at work. Humans are social. It is hard to live at a physical and mental distance from each other, the feeling even more poignant during this holiday.
Yet, I also relish the quiet, the time for introspection. The deepest spiritual truths speak to me in the quiet. Our post-industrial society demands constant bustle, busyness, and long workdays. We need moments of quiet.
I sip my coffee and look out the window. The earth is blooming, a pastel rainbow of yellow daffodils, purple hyacinths, and pink cherry blossoms.
Spring. A cycle far more ancient than our busy lives suddenly quieted.
Easter. Renewal. Birth and Rebirth.
I open my window to let in the fresh, cool air. The birds are singing. They are busy building nests, bathing in puddles, singing in the sun and rain.
This spring is particularly songful. People the world over hide inside, contained by the silent virus. Nature flourishes in our absence. It is an introspective Easter for humans.
Were these the sounds and colors of the very first Easter? Did Jesus hear the bird songs? Did Jesus smell the flowers? I imagine that Jesus used herbs and ancient plant medicines along with prayer as he healed others.
Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples, a holiday of God’s miraculous deliverance of the Jews from captivity into freedom. Another ancient rebirth in spring. After his celebration of Passover, and his melancholy knowledge of things to come, Jesus went to the garden to pray. He found peace and inner healing in the garden. He found God in the garden.
Jesus’ disciples told awe-struck stories about Jesus and nature. Jesus walked on water. Jesus spoke to the wind and waves. Jesus calmed the storm. Jesus had a deep spiritual connection with nature.
As do we all. We are born into nature, part of nature. But how easily we betray nature and kill the connection.
After Jesus prayed in the garden, a disciple betrayed Jesus with a kiss in the garden. Did Judas see the trees blooming? Did the soldiers hear the birdsongs? Or had they lost their connection to nature? To God? They sacrificed the life of a tree to build a cross of human torture. They used the tree to kill a great spiritual teacher.
Jesus died on a tree outside that garden, the story goes. The earth went dark. The birds stopped singing. Nature grieved. Human destruction.
The story doesn’t end there. The power is the next chapter. Jesus conquered death and rose again. Jesus taught us to live in love, peace, harmony, and healing.
Renewal. Birth and Rebirth.
Namaste, friends. I pray that you find moments of peace this Easter even with the moments of grief and fear in our world. I pray that you find healing in nature this spring. I also pray that our natural world finds healing in this season of human rest.