As I often do when a new season is in view, I turn to the writings of Joyce Rupp, specifically her book The Circle of Life, The Heart's Journey Through the Seasons. This morning I prayed her antiphons for spring. Antiphons are verses sung in response to prayers or text as part of a liturgical service. Rupp's antiphons express the desire to awaken to the essence of spring time.
Four Antiphons of Spring
Come! Come encourage what needs to be born in us.
Draw us out of winter's nurturing womb.
Teach us to believe in our unopened buds.
Accompany us into a world starved for new life.
I have always loved winter --the dark and cold of the cave time. I love the nestling in, the stillness, the unending time to reflect and read and restore. This year, however, I yearn for spring and not just because the weather has been so harsh, but because I sense something new is waiting to be born in me, from me. It is time to discover what that is. O, Come New Life.
What new life do you sense?
Come! Come, welcome guest.
Set free our reluctance to live fully and deeply.
Awaken us to the beauty that holds and enfolds us.
Open our eyes to all we can become.
We have come full circle, living where we raised our family. After twenty years we are home again, and the transition has been easy. We love being able to spend more time with family and longtime friends and to reconnect with other dear ones from our past. How easy it would be to stop there. The challenge for me, therefore, is to stretch, to discover what else awaits, to awaken to the possibilities of our life here now. O, Come, Life Lived Fully and Deeply.
What does living fully and deeply mean to you?
Come! Come melt what is frozen in us.
Open the buds of our longing with your gentle breezes.
Soften the hard earth of our hearts with your rains.
Breathe warmth upon the cold places in us.
For almost two years I have focused on selling our home and then moving us and moving my father and preparing his home to be sold. If you have been reading this blog, you know how those activities have dominated my life. All of that has been accomplished and selling my father's home is now in someone else's hands. However, I feel "frozen," and I am weary. I need to melt, to allow my heart to soften and become warm once again. O Come, Warmth.
Where are you frozen?
O Come! Come laugh us out of our rigidity.
Lighten hearts grown weary with anxiety.
Send us out to the meadows to play like a child.
Rise up in our souls with lighthearted joy.
Playing and being playful has never been my strong suit. I finish my tasks before I allow myself to play. And there is always something else to do. Honestly, I am not even sure what play means, for the P word in my vocabulary is Purpose. I urge others to take time for themselves, to give themselves a break, but I don't Prescribe that for myself very often, if ever. Springtime seems the Perfect time to change that Pattern. O Come, Playtime!
Do you need to add more playtime in your life?
What does the coming of spring represent to you? How is this transition to spring different from other years, and what are you doing to prepare for the new season? I would love to know.