Spring Unbound 2019


What can be written about spring which hasn’t been written or spoken before? Not much, I suspect.

Stepping out into a wonder of color and sound, blossom and songbird returning, the glory of lungs bringing all this inside to feed the heart, the chest expands, reaches beyond the mere body, embraces, absorbs, exchanges all with love and compassion.

Perhaps we can say this.

We are not separate from this magnificent earth which has given us sustenance and shape. We feel this as part of the process of turning, returning, renewal, all again new, every instant a chance, each instant enchant.

Perhaps we can say this without plunging into empty cliché. I don’t know.

Perhaps we can state that beauty is the ground state of birth, growth, and maturity and that our task is to return the favor.

Perhaps we can say this expansive heart connection with the creative force of spring is where wishes actualize a spiritual opportunity to make whatever’s wrong right.

I just don’t know.

For whatever it’s worth, spring always seems to present fresh opportunity.

At some point we might quit counting the years while continuing to honor fluctuations of equilibrium and cycles. And, while we’re at it,

we throw open the windows and doors.

Yet all is not well, and these sensations are nothing if they remain graspingly or garishly selfish.

The yin/yang duality intrinsic to the medicine we practice remains diagnostically astute; one cannot live surrounded by poisoned air, water, and soil and remain purely intact. Our bodies fail when we spew filth into that which we are obligated to honor and nourish because this is the same place into which we’ve been born and nurtured.

Why would we wreck that?

Those of us who have lived long enough know darn well that the climate has already significantly changed. I’m thinking of spring this year inclusive of those underwater as well as those who’ve had to flee poverty, violence, famine or flame only to be caged and discarded by others who treat refugee lives as nothing but rubbish.

Having come into the preexisting context this human world represents, what if we were to consider our life as an obligation to give more than we take so that those who follow can experience not only the same wonders we have but wonders which progressively increase?

It’s a possibility worthy of consideration.

We might take sustenance in such an idea upon which we choose to act.

Speaking of sustenance, the Japanese have a wonderful traditional dish which translates to seven herbs of spring. It’s basically a rice porridge or congee containing seven local edible herbs we often think of as weeds.

It’s a great meal following a dark and cold season with few or limited fresh vegetables available, and your cellular matrix will say thanks.

Weeds we may add to such a dish could be stinging nettles, dandelion, curly or yellow dock, shepherd’s purse, violet, chickweed, arugula, radish, parsley, spinach, mint, watercress, clover, or any other early edible weed that you know of and notice. But don’t worry about the number. Don’t worry five, seven, or nine. Life leans always toward greater diversity because that makes life more resilient, so let us lean a little more toward seven than five without worrying about it. And don’t forget to ask for permission to pick, open your heart to receive an affirmative answer, and to leave an offering or gift.

And then let us give our best to the future as an opportunity to respond with acts of beauty, generosity, compassion, and grace without exception.

Humans have a long history of overcoming impossibilities.

Perhaps if we all pull together we can do so again. I prefer to think so, even though I continue to trouble my mind with what I might write about spring which has never been said.