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Springtime in the Human Landscape

Who knew two months ago that the sun could again warm our bones? That life could begin to sprout up after being so deeply buried beneath the starkness of winter? I sure had my doubts. It seemed almost impossible to imagine. When will this ever end? How possibly could something new ever come into being? When will I feel like moving again - like rising up and actually making something happen? When will this cold blanket of darkness and unknowing be lifted?

Then one day, spontaneously, an idea arises from the stillness, from the wondering. A single brush stroke, a new life, distinct and clear in it’s sense of self. A flash of green shows up amidst the dark soil - conduit between possibility and fullest expression. Another soon follows, as perfect as the first. The bleakness begins its slow retreat inward. Little dabs of color scramble to the surface to catch an early glimpse of the one they worship, as it returns from elsewhere. All around, young and old show up, as fully as they can, at their own pace, in alignment with who they are. The most majestic sycamore shares with the tiny sprout in the ubiquitous realization as to the why of their existence: to grow, to reach for the sun, to fully assert their precious being out into the world. They rise up together and move forward - no shrinking back. The earth nourishes and holds them both tenderly, as best she can. Shaped by their environment - by the space that they exist within - and empowered by their deepest potential, they unfold upward and outward toward their blossoming. Every distinct animation and event intertwines before our very eyes. We witness, we partake, we experience it on every level of our being.

Nature presents, as it will, in any given moment - “full of itself”. It shows up - just like that - and sees the job through. In Chinese physiology our capacity for this gift is dependant upon our “blood”. Blood offers us physical and psychospiritual substance. We show up, rich and lustrous, taking the appropriate action and following through without shrinking back or questioning if we are enough. Blood carries the “will of the heart” to the farthest reaches of our inner kingdoms; therefore we choose a path reflecting just that. We trust in the validity of our spontaneous ideas, visions and insights. Blood nourishes our eyes. We see the distinctions clearly, assess the circumstances and come up with a realistic and fulfilling plan. When we take action, blood provides nourishment to our muscular forces – tendons and ligaments. Our actions are timely, smooth and precise. We are flexible and resilient on all levels and able to effectively move ahead through life – the perpetual work in progress that we are.

Our ideas become visions. We choose to go with what seems right for us. Decisions lead to actions, which support a plan, prompting more ideas. We reshape the plan. Obstacles present themselves. We research. We’re inundated with information, opinions of others, our own belief systems, expectations…more decisions, another idea…Whew. I’m surprised I haven’t gone completely mad! In the presence of so much input and distraction, it becomes possible to lose clarity. At some point we may become aware that we’ve been following through with ideas that are not in alignment with our true nature, and realize the necessity of a change in direction, for the sake of our integrity. However, even the most virtuous plans encounter obstacles. When wood comes up against rock, it may have the strength to displace it. Otherwise it changes direction effortlessly. There’s an assessment, then a turning down that good old path of least resistance. The outcome will always reflect the best interest of its individual nature. It may thrive, and live a long and fulfilling life. It may not, depending upon circumstances. Despite the resilience and flexibility of new growth, or even old growth for that matter, there may come a time when nature no longer supports its present state - when the tree is blown down, overtaken by another or snapped in two. As saddened or frustrated as we may become when our plans are altered or dashed, we might just step back and take in the big picture for it’s own sake. We may realize that the fallen tree, idea or plan never dies. Even in its decaying state it remains an integral part of the whole. The earth will swallow it up, creating an abundant source of nourishment for the next growth phase. Who knows - the essence of our idea may appear once again in another perfect moment, and grow into something magnificent. Trust in that moment and go with it.

March 2003

Here's another article which addresses the Wood element, entitled: Got Spring?

If you prefer summertime, you might like to read: Fire in the Treatment Room.

If Autumn floats your boat, check out Autumn in the Human Landscape.