By Donaia De Marco
"Return to Warmth"
May marks the return of warmth. There's nothing like stepping out of the house and smelling the spring and feeling the warm air seeping through the skin of your up-lifted face. Sun's out, buds are bursting, and the bird's have come back. The ground has been warming up, so many here have begun to prepare the soil in their flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. We work the soil to loosen it and soften it in order to give the seeds we are planting room to germinate and grow to the Light. An underground excitement has been building since the appearance of those bold, bright daffodils, crocuses, tulips, and forsythias. In New England, we tend our gardens with great faith because in springtime we get a touch of the fever…the fever of promises, possibilities, potentialities…the fever of flowering.
To me the returning warmth is very grounding. In spring, the tremendous excitement of being free to become something new is shackled in humans by the terror of not knowing what the heck might happen next. This inner battle feels like a girdle on prom night to me. There you are a pinnacle of beauty, and you have to walk around stiff like a robot so you won't get stuck or pinched in tender places…having to follow all those rules of etiquette, not enjoying it one bit no matter how hard you try. We seem to use constriction as the panacea for feeling safe when dancing in the unknown. Otherwise, I guess we think we'd spin out in a tornado of self-destructive dramas. This returning warmth, however, seems to gently lower me down to rest in "the ever-lasting arms of God." Rather than constriction, I feel expansion. There's hope in the warmth. Or, stronger yet…there's a smile of comfort in it. "I am safe," Louise Hay teaches, "it is only change." It is a time for opening.
Let's call the warm feeling love…for I have felt this warmth in love before. I seem to be saying that Love grounds me as I grow spiritually toward the Light. (Evelyn Underhill in her book, Practical Mysticism refers to this as the magic of disinterested love.) When we are first in love, we don't seem to care where love will take us. We just kiss and kiss until one day we wake up and wonder what the heck has happened to our old self. We may or may not like who we are becoming, but either way, we don't really know how to operate from the new place. An older woman once said to me, "Honey, I just buckle up the seat belt and hang on!"
Why not breathe and relax? Inhale the air of imminence. Enjoy the ride! As "our small energetic love perpetually presses to deeper and deeper realization, tasting through and through and seeking through and through the fathomless ground of the Infinite and the Eternal, it seems rather a perpetually renewed encounter than a final achievement" (Underhill). This love of life, God, the love of Love…a love for our very existence itself… happens when I walk to my car on a May morning and breathe in faith the coming of another year of full flowering and fruition.
Underhill's "perpetually renewed encounter" reminds me of Yogananda's definition of heaven as "ever-new joy." Having a clear sense of the cycle of the seasons (the birth and death cycle of the ever-evolving Universe in which we live) frees me from the fear of loss and fosters in me a greater acceptance for the changes which are about to occur. The feeling of belonging and being a part of the multiplicity and diversity of an evolving Universe is only the beginning. I also appreciate my uniqueness…knowing that if I am alive, I am necessary. I rejoice for a moment in the sweetness of the breath of "yes"…before I go on my way, all bubbly with the feeling of something germinating inside of me and what part it may play in the whole scheme of my life. The warmth makes me want to float downstream because it feels right. On an early spring morning, everything feels right.
When things feel right for me, I'm willing to take the risk of expressing myself in unusual ways. I relax…and flow in a voice I truly recognize from deep within. I'm willing to "put myself out there" when I feel plugged in to the Source, when I feel a part of the flow, when I get a warm whiff of a coming new day, new season, new year. When I get a whiff of new life on the planet, I feel soft and smiley inside…and yet, very courageous. My faith is activated in this environment of warm Love.
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