These days we need to strengthen our spirituality so we can be the “change-makers” necessary for the well-being of this world and its people. For me, spirituality is a life-path filled with practices that build up, enhance and release our innate human capacities for love and beauty, peace and harmony, justice and joy, awe and mystery. In this way we are connected to the great “sacred spirit” of the universes.
Even though there has been regression in our national leadership, our lives can be filled with hope through spiritual experiences. We find this in the breath of the seasons of the earth. Locally she has been drenched by the rains, prodding nature to blossom, green and grow. It is as if every page of Gaia’s coloring book is being filled in and coming alive. This is the greening power that Hildegard von Bingen often wrote and sang about.
The Soul is Breath
by Hildegard von Bingen
The soul is the breath of the living spirit
that with excellent sensitivity,
permeates the entire body to give it life.
the breath of air makes the earth fruitful,
Thus the air is the soul of the earth,
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a remarkable woman, a “first” in many fields. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as “Sybil of the Rhine”, produced major works of theology, visionary writings as well as medical and science texts. When few women were given respect, she was consulted by bishops, popes, and kings.
Hildegard used the curative powers of natural things for healing and wrote treatises about natural history and the medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and stones. She is the first composer whose biography is known, and she founded a vibrant convent where her musical plays were performed.
Revival of interest in this extraordinary woman of the Middle Ages was initiated by musicologists and historians of science and religion.
Hildegard’s visions and her music continue to be performed and reinterpreted in many new artistic venues. Her story is one of a resilient spirit and vivacious intellect overcoming social, cultural, and gender barriers to achieve timeless transcendence. May these images invite you to the greening of a creation/cosmic spirituality we so desperately need.
Feb. week 2 images: Magnolia Bud, Leaf detail, Hairstreak Butterfly, Buckeye Buds.