I stood beneath my neighbor’s beautiful cherry blossom tree as a breeze lilted through its thick thatched petals of pink, dislodging some of them so we were playing a scene from the moment when the Buddha awakened and petals snowed from the sky. You have no doubt your own moments of Spring Awakening as you have navigated down streets with trees blooming in a riot of pink and white and green. Our cars are coated by pollen. When we stop long enough–and sometimes a few seconds is all it takes–within the cycle of renewal and a season of life, we come to our senses and a vivid truth confronts us: none of this had to be; we do not control these seasons tightly winded and released to play their music box songs to us again and again. The fact that the universe renews itself is a fundament fact that we must ponder. Only the most cynical or arrogant among us dismiss this as though it just happens and it is no big deal. Oh, yes, it is. Indeed. That you are part of this is nothing short of a miracle.
Another fact of the universe counters the truth of renewal. Calvin would call it the depravity of human beings. I’ve no issue with his calling it this. But suffice it to say that if renewal is a constant then the human inclination to pollute, ruin and even destroy life is a fundamental fact that must be taken into consideration too. Something went wrong. The Russian poet and Soviet exile, Joseph Brodsky, talked about an “anthropological backslide” having occurred to which he immediately connected the idea of sin. And sin he said is not such a hard word to define. It simply means, he said, that “man is dangerous.” I’m not sure you have noticed but the current President has appointed persons to head departments who actually hate those departments and have been and are dedicated to ruining them. Whether it be the oversight of our environment or the nurturing of diplomacy, the appointees have held these very departments in contempt. We are being treated to a vivid depiction of cynical and Orwellian government.
What to do? let go into the mystery, as Van Morrison sings. Pause and consider the vast sums of order and precision, the fine-tuned universe beyond you and within you. And then get yourself to a sacred space and in gratitude, worship and commune. Get to a place where truth-telling is still considered possible and necessary.
~ See you Sunday