Spring Force

I am anxious for spring time, as so many trees now begin to blossom. Daffodil bulbs outside the kitchen window have brilliantly popped out of their growing boxes. Acacia trees the same color as the daffodils have been out in full color for a month. Our California winter is not completely passed. The glen in which I live is ripe with blossoms everywhere, but a gray sky today has muted all the engaging color. This transition between dead winter and flowery spring always surprises me. The other night I saw a wild bobcat scamper up the long drive way to my house. All the power of the spring surprise has been asleep for months in the earth and is now revealing itself to me. Some may mark the passing of time by the calendar, and sometimes I’m forced to do so as well. My choice would be to gauge the living process by what I see and feel going on in the outdoor world.

Catholics this year lose their pope in the middle of the high holy season, as if an important season on the calendar is missing. Thirty years ago I ripped out the page of argumentation that ensues from formal religion, content to watch from the outside. I look sometimes to see if there is any humanity among the ritual and ceremony. I find enough marvel in the brightly-colored vestments that come boldly out of the earth and put on such a solemn display. I don’t find any need for a mediator between me and the budding pear tree in the wild plot of land next door. I see enough mystery springing from the richness of the earth that I do not need to anticipate the conduct in secret Roman chambers.

I’ve wavered so often between embracing and tossing off all outward structures of piety. I came into the world as an individual, and was trained at the beginning to blend with others, but as I slip toward my own finality my desire grows to discover my own true identity. Allowing others to tell me how to think and feel seems demeaning. So many paths I could have followed intended to strip me of who I am and what I feel. Organizations want me to doubt my own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. When younger, following the patterns of others seemed important. I’m no longer a good follower. I’ve lived as a follower and it didn’t work well for me. I had to give up my intuition, my personal revelation, to keep up with the pace of the parade.

I need to listen to what is organic and human, rather than follow antiquated trends merely to help preserve history. What of my own history? I no longer understand the value of titles and creeds, boundaries of agreement and division, words that are composed with the purpose of denying me my logic and reasoning. My displeasure with being controlled by group thinking extends to partisan politics and nationality. At the same time, I know us humans pay a high price to possess togetherness and harmony, and must constantly look for a balance between community and personal integrity. I have some preferences, just as I admire one type of flower over another. I just want to avoid imprisonment. My natural instincts often cohere with those of orthodoxy, but I take delight in owning the source of my instincts rather than having them persuasively forced upon me.

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