It’s spring, and I’ve returned to my practice of sitting outside upon rising. Most mornings, just as the sun peeks over the trees behind my neighbor’s house across the street, I go outdoors and sit for a few minutes. My hot tea in hand warms me as I sip, holding both hands around the mug. I feel the firm earth beneath me, supporting me on my journey through the day. It is a time that I attempt to quiet my mind and listen to Spirit speak to me through nature.
Some days, the juncos are busy scavenging for seeds; others I just hear the hidden birdsong of others breeds hidden in the oaks trees and pine needles above. Often, a black squirrel will scuttle along the top of the fence, his super-highway to the yard nextdoor. This is my favorite time of the year to be doing this practice, as I can see the changes that spring brings almost from day to day. I watch our California poppies change from just 3 blossoms to 8 in 24 hours.
I ask for a message, some guidance, from the Divine, and then wait. It’s not that I expect something magical and stupendous to occur. It’s more that I wait for my perception to be guided to what I need to see in order to receive my message.
This morning, my gaze turned to the apple tree on the other side of the fence to my right. It was still mostly barren from winter, but leaves were definitely beginning to unfurl, showing the return of life and portending the lush foliage to come.
It reminded me that we have everything we need inside ourselves – all the potential to awaken, to unfold, to blossom into who we’re here to be. It simply requires the right season.
The buds can’t open until the springtime. We have to wait through the cold, dark winter for these potentialities to awaken. For us, on the spiritual path, it’s a combination of making the effort to grow and letting go, allowing things to unfold.
The apple tree’s effort happens through the winter. I may not be noticed by our eyes, but the tree draws its energy more to its center and down into its roots. It draws nourishment from those roots through the winter. It waits and trusts that spring will arrive.
Then, Grace comes – the temperatures begin to increase, the light brightens, the snow melts, and slowly the inner potential of the tree is released.
We never know when Grace, the unmerited blessings from the Divine, may shower upon us. Just like spring, it could come early or late – we may be waiting through long months of bitter cold before the frost melts, or come February the thaw quickly arrives. We may need to be patient in our lives before we see the fruits of our labors.
The apple tree reminds me to keep sending my roots down, receive my nourishment, stay in my center, and prepare myself for when the opportunities, the blessings, the gifts arrive. I will continue to act “as-if”, trusting that, indeed, spring will arrive.
Whether or spring has shown up in your neck of the woods – and whether or not your blessings are yet apparent – keep up the faith, and keep up your inner work. You are growing and unfolding in ways you cannot yet see. Trust that process. Before you know it, your blossoms will open and you’ll see the transformation in your peace of mind, your opened heart, and new vistas spreading out before you.