Monday, April 30, 2018

Welcoming the Return of Spring

The heart fires are stirring
with the new life returning;
It's time now for learning
what rebirth really means.

. . . So, praise to the Earth
let all her creatures now sing;
Hope is renewed with
the coming of the Spring.

– Lisa Theil
Excerpted from "Ostara (Spring Equinox)"

Last Friday, April 27, I led a "prayer gathering" in the chapel of Abbott Northwestern Hospital (ANW). Entitled "Let the Greening Begin," this gathering was a celebration of the return of spring.

As regular readers of this blog would know, I'm currently mid-way through a year-long chaplain residency at ANW, and the planning and facilitating of Friday's event served as my residency's "leadership project."

About 20 people attended the event, one which not only celebrated spring's welcome return but the creation-centered wisdom that is found within the Pagan, Christian, Sufi, and Indigenous spiritual traditions. In planning and facilitating this interfaith celebration of spring I shared the writings of Joyce Rupp, Sitting Bull, Starhawk, Hafez, and Wendell Berry, along with the music of Lisa Thiel, Angelo Badalamenti, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

I also shared my photography, with many of the images of spring incorporated into the event having been previously shared at The Wild Reed. (See, for example, here, here, and here.)

Left: In welcoming those in attendance I shared the following . . .

"Let the greening begin!" . . . What a wonderful way to speak of the transformative journey that is life; a journey in which we are all called to be active participants. At the core of this journey is the choice to open ourselves to the Sacred Presence at the heart of all creation and to embody this Presence, this transforming Presence, in our words and actions of compassion and justice; words and actions that encourage and inspire movement towards wholeness.

All the great spiritual traditions speak of this holy and very human endeavor; and today, as we celebrate the return of spring and all that this season represents, we'll be lifting up the wisdom of a number of these traditions. May this wisdom be both meaningful and nourishing for each one of us and for our journeys.

Above: With my fellow chaplain residents Chandler, Katie, and Hae.

Above: With members of the Palliative Care team, with whom I've been working since March.

Right: Friends and colleagues Mary and Nancy . . .

. . . Chandler, Katie, Ken, Paula, and Hae

. . . and Mary, Michelle, Sharon, Alisa, and Sigrid.

Afterwards, the prayer service's beautiful spring flowers graced first my office desk (above) and then my dining room table at home.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Celebrating the Return of Spring (2017)
Photo of the Day – April 17, 2018
The Spring Blizzard of 2018
Spring's Snowy Start
Farewell Winter
A New Day
In Minneapolis, A Snowy February Friday
Spring: Truly the Season for Joy and Hope
A Snowy Spring Day
Let the Greening Begin
Waiting in Repose for Spring's Awakening Kiss
Dreaming of Spring

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