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Journal

Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

A Prayer in Spring

Katie Gordon

It's finally starting to feel like spring!  It's been raining for the last few days (with a little snow mixed in), but it feels softer, the air is wetter and it feels easier to breathe.  It makes me want to sit outside under a big tree and just listen to the rain dripping on the leaves.  My body is starting to loosen up and my mind even feels like a block has been lifted.  I love the spring.  It feels so full of possibilities and light.  This year I especially have a sense of renewal.  If I think too hard about what specifically will come about, it slips from my grasp, but if I let it rest, like a bubble, hovering just out of my reach, I can still get a sense of peace from the promises it holds.  I know if I let this new life and potential unfold on it's own time, without the urgency and rush that exists in the rest of the world, wonderful things can come of it.  It reminds me of a poem by Robert Frost, "A Prayer In Spring":

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; And make us happy in the happy bees, The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird That suddenly above the bees is heard, The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love, The which it is reserved for God above To sanctify to what far ends He will, But which it only needs that we fulfill.

I love this poem because it reminds me to enjoy the present, to stop and appreciate each moment for the life it holds.  The simple pleasures in life, the feeling of wet grass under bare feet, falling asleep to the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the roof, the silence of snowfall, always seem to bring a sense of calm, peace, and clarity.  What are some of the small things that make you smile to yourself?  Once you start thinking of them, you'll notice more and more things in your day-to-day life that you appreciate. 

In a culture that values constant striving for perfection, the natural world brings balance because it reminds us that life will go on at its own pace no matter what we do, and there are forces greater than ourselves at work.  We don't know what will happen in the future, or the "uncertain harvest," all we can worry about is "the flowers to-day," what we know at this moment, and take pleasure in that.