The Divine Spring
“When the winds blow severely, rains fall fiercely, the lightning flashes, the thunder roars, the bold descends and storms of trial become severe, grieve not; for after this storm, verily, the divine spring will arrive, the hills and fields will become verdant, the expanses of grain will joyfully wave, the earth will become covered with blossoms, the trees will be clothed with green garments and adorned with blossoms and fruits. Thus blessings become manifest in all countries. These favors are results of those storms and hurricanes.” ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
There is a shade of green that I love the most.
It is a tender green. It is a happy and cheerful green. Fresh from Nature’s own palette, it is the dewy and velvety green of early, young leaves. It is a green so light and demure. Refined and translucent. Pure and childlike. Fragile almost.
It is a dazzling green found only upon Spring’s awakening. It is the first colour of life to stand out against a stark and subdued landscape. Like droplets of paint on a bare canvas. It can be seen springing up in the first blade of grass that worms its way out from the earth.
It is the clumps of spongy, moist moss. It is the young maple and oak leaves that clothe the stark branches anew.
This spectacular colour stays with us for a few radiant short weeks upon its birth before it matures and takes on a darker, more solid mien.
The trees in Finland are at this very moment dripping with this most fantastic hue. The forest is aglow in this sublime green. Luminous, dappled leaves rustling against a peerless blue sky.
We live close to the sea right next to a sprawling nature reserve. I spend a lot of my free time in these woods. With every step I take, I leave the clamour of the world behind. I drop the load of stones and pebbles that have accumulated in my heart. The knots of the mind start to untangle.
My burden lightens considerably along the way. A hundred things that shout for attention, somehow seem to diminish in importance when I take a good long walk in the woods.
These woods disarm me. The aspen, the silver birches, spruce and pine – my quiet companions along the way. My conscience is sharpened in the prevailing peace. The ego loosens its grip. How good it is to stay close to the very earth our early ancestors must have spent time listening to.
It has taught me that sometimes speaking my mind is a hollow victory if it means putting someone else down. No matter how justified. For to offend a heart is not something to be proud of. From these ancient trees, I have learnt to stand tall. Undismayed and unperturbed. And in the safety of the woods, forgiveness becomes a quiet surrender.
The forest and the trees have now become familiar landmarks on my daily walks. This patch of earth and the many dirt tracks and rocky shoreline hold a special significance for me. For it was to these woods that I went to when I was recovering from chemotherapy three years ago. Frail, weak and broken, I somehow made my way slowly into the woods.
Unlike the noble Thoreau, so full of brave, high-minded ideals when he ventured onto Walden Pond to live simply, I went to the woods because I simply and desperately needed to live.
Desperate “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” How humbling it is to realise that the company of trees taught me “to put to rout all that was not life.”
The gracious trees shared their strength and life with me. For to recognise the powerful force that has kept the old stoic spruce, tall and straight for the last century is to partake of it. Many times, I had silently walked under its dark foliage just to press my palm upon its hardened, crusted bark. Just to reverently touch life. Just to feel the force of such stillness.
Some of my most significant moments and thoughts on life have taken place in these sacred woods.
If Nature is a reflection of our own reality, the lessons we may learn just from quietly observing the trees, the cycle of life and the seasons’ change are myriad.
A Leaf in Springtime was born from these moments. A Leaf whose very aliveness and fading away, every movement and stillness are governed by the Divine Hand.
And each moment of Awakening and thankfulness is a moment of Divine Springtime.
* I met this bunch of school kids just yesterday morning out on a field trip in the woods with their teacher. Finnish children are taught from a young age to show deep reverence and silence when they are out in the nature. But these bubbly youngsters couldn’t resist turning around and giving me a shot of exuberant cheers when they realised I was training the camera on them. After that spontaneous salution of peace, they went on their merry way – quietly in the woods. They made my day.
Yes! It is Divine Spring Green … 🙂
Hi Meredith, yes, it is a green which lifts the heart to a higher place. That must be the divine in it! 😀 So good to hear from you! Are you still in Sri Lanka? Sharon
Beautiful! I love that shade of green myself! Joanne
Hello Jo! Pretty amazing isn’t it? I can’t really pin it down on a colour chart. I guess Nature is pretty hard to beat that way 😀 Sharon
What wonderful thoughts. Isn’t it great how time spent in nature, surrounded by the symphony of the birds and animals and winds, the rustle of the leaves, can be so soothing, so mellowing, so calming. I never realized how life enhancing the trees are until late in life, and now I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the city.
Great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts
My thoughts exactly Barney. I too only realised the nurturing power of Nature in recent years. From your thoughts and the flow of your words in the message above, I can see what a natural and beautiful synchronicity you have built with the natural surroundings around you. I remember you writing me of the birds outside your window that greet you each morning. Like you, I too wouldn’t trade this for anything in the city.
Thank you so much for writing. It is always a pleasure to have you here. So sorry to keep you waiting for this reply. School is out. Summer vacation has officially started. My little boy is home with me and somehow the days are full! 😀 Have a lovely walk in the woods. Sharon
This post resonates with me. As my husband and were walking in the woods a few days ago and then driving through the foothills, this luscious spring green made my spirits soar at the same time it soothed me. It is invigorating to witness the whole of nature saying, “I choose life!”
I could almost see the view as you described it. And it is exactly seeing how the whole landscape just glows in this first new burst of spring green that renews, refresh and restores us again. I like that statement very much. How it echoes from every leaf, petal and tree! Hugs to you! Sharon
I too live for that first green of spring. The Japanese gardens in Portland, Oregon are especially enchanting during this time.
I knew you would understand this love for those few precious weeks when all is light and tender. The Japanese Gardens sound truly enchanting especially knowing that you have found it so! Oh sometimes the imagination takes us places we have never been! Hugs to you Diane. I just can’t shake off the image of your iced tea! 😀 Sharon
Perfect. Nature is my strength too, and it has certainly helped you heal. Lovely post Sharon. 😀
Over these last four years, I have become increasingly convinced of the natural healing there is in living close to the earth and being at one with all life. It sounds so New Age I know!! But I have since found drawn to hugging a tree (when no one’s watching of course!) 😀 I think making beautiful things flower and blossom and getting one’s hand deep into the rich earth must have the same effect on you Cathy. I dream of having a big garden like yours one day! Hugs, Sharon
How lovely! But perhaps I love the most that you put the children in the last shot.
I’m delighted you love the last shot of the children! Their presence and faces added so much dimension and liveliness that is the wonderful spirit of Spring! Hugs to you! Sharon
So beautiful, Sharon; the more I read your posts, the greater is the feeling that you are a lovely soul-sister…this reflection conjured Hildegard’s beautiful term, “viriditas,” or the “greening power of the Sacred.” On my travels down the trail these 16 years, I long ago met a “Mother Tree,” scarred and dying, but with limbs raised up, as though she had, for all of her existence, praised life, and still continues to do so in death, if that makes any sense…Anyway, she and I connect every time I pass, and her energy, or presence, still offers me peace and comfort. Her neighbors now “share” their leaves with her and adorn the bits of her still standing, their green garlands honoring her wisdom tradition of praising life and its eternal renewal…thank you for this lovely post and the gorgeous, sensitive photography that so beautifully accompanies it.
Know exactly what you mean – the first two or three weeks of spring have my favorite colors of the year too. And it must be wonderful having the ocean *and* a nature reserve so close to your home. Walking in that environment does your mind and body such good. 🙂
There isn’t a day I don’t feel the gratitude spilling over when I look at the sea, breathe in the tangy seaweedy air, watch my son splash in the freezing waters and take long walks deep into the woods. When I was a young working professional, I was perhaps more at home in the city and the malls (imagine that!) But now I run to the Nature at speed. For how could I feel anything but this silent affinity after being slowly nourished back to health by the life-imparting trees… Sharon
I share a love for that particularly coy shade of green in springtime. Beautiful shots and nice meditation of walking in peaceful reflection.
You can imagine just how many pictures I took during this time just to capture this perfect green! 😀 And how extremely difficult it proved to be to finally whittle them down to my absolute favourites! Thank you for sharing in the love and peace of this springtime season Gunta. Sharon
I’m all too familiar with that whittle problem… 😀
Your gentle, loving spirit shines through in all your posts warming my heart, dear friend. It almost feels like a childlike innocence, and as beautiful as that is, I sense that yours is far deeper than that. It is beyond innocence. And beyond maturity, heartache, struggle, and strife. I believe it is a reflection of a spirit who has taken a journey in human form from innocence through many stages of experiences and learning, to a place of joy, calmness and inner peace much of the time, and who knows that the journey continues for there is much more to learn. Thank you for sharing such glimpses of your spirit and your journey. I thirst for and am refreshed by them.
My dear Russ,
When I read this message from you, tears came to my eyes. For you had managed to put together the years that have brought me to where I am today with such deep thoughtfulness and insight. I am grateful for your kindness. Thank you for reaching out to me across the miles every single time. It is cherished every single time. Sharon
I believe that our spirits have always known and cared deeply for each other, and always will. I feel a oneness with your spirit that is glorious and inspires me. May you always know that you have a friend in me.
Thank you for being in my life and for all the blessings I have received as a result.
As you made my day with your writing, Sweet Sharon.
I will be travelling (cruising) for 10 days to Alaska and Victoria/Canada. I will be seeing green shades you love. I will be thinking of you and will return with some inspirations. I love you Sweet Lady! Fae.
My dearest Fae,
I apologise for keeping you waiting to hear from me! Summer vacation just started and school hols officially started a week ago – so you can imagine it’s been full, full, full days around here for me and Boy 😀 The weather has been stunning and we’re all beautifully brown from hours at the beach. How is the cruise! Are you twisting and tangoing? 😀 Photos ahem! Wishing you and M a wonderful, memorable time. We all light up when we mention your name in our home! Triple hugs xxx
You always write with clarity, Sharon. I especially like that part where you talked about speaking one’s mind but putting someone down in the process. It is a lesson I learned the hard way and always need to listen to.
Your photos are utterly gorgeous. I love the light in the leaves, and type message of hope they bring. Just like your words, just like your blog.
My wishes for your continued god health and well-being, Sharon.
My dear Imelda,
Sorry to keep you waiting for this reply! School is out. Summer is here!
I just wanted to let you know that your gentle presence here is always a joy to me. I’m learning the fine balance of speaking up, timing and receptivity of the hearer. And taking a good long walk in the woods always seems to get me in a better frame of mind – that sometimes less is more. Truth must be accompanied with dignity. Speech must be a gift not poison. And what I know of you makes me believe that kindness, wisdom and self-restraint are hallmarks of your speech.
Thank you so much for enjoying this piece and the photos. I found joy writing about my favourite green which brings me much joy! Thank you most of all for your blessings for good health. I receive it with gladness and thankfulness. Hugs to you! Sharon
Thank you for popping in to see me at http://ja2da.com – here (in the UK) it’s the beech trees that have that stunning vibrant green in their leaves for the moment.
Lovely pictures of Sweden!
(Are your oak trees really in flower already? Ours are only just coming in to leaf)
And a warm welcome here! I’ve been enjoying seeing what your walks and camera have captured and learning much about wildflowers from your part of the world. I’m amazed if we’re ahead of you here in Finland with the flowering oak. Looking forward to hearing from you and warmest wishes from me. Sharon
Thank you for taking me with you for a walk in the woods. I, too, marvel at the changing hue of the green. Like life. Love you, Sharon. Stay well, my friend.
My dear Piyali,
I do apologise for this late reply! School’s out and summer’s here! I’m juggling a new routine and catching up with the blog when I can. Being seven is once in a lifetime 😀 Thank you so much for joining me on this walk to the woods. Yes, the woods is ever-changing – like life. Each day I notice something I didn’t see the day before. Each year the woods transforms itself anew. I like to think that we are all being made new each day. Your blessing is received with both hands my friend. Hugs, Sharon
What a truly amazing green and spiritual journey you had in the verdant woods. All fresh and ready for renewal. The children are absolutely fantastic!
I’m so glad you’re here to share this special green with me Emily! It is spectacular and I’m happy you loved the children too! They just added such a lively eager dimension to my walk to the woods that day. Hugs, Sharon
I also love spring and walking among the trees. I too love to rest my hand on the bark of a tree and feel not only the quiet and stillness but the incredible strength and life under that bark. Your words are beautiful. Thank you once again.
Yes, the throbbing life of a tree just under that bark. I am so glad you feel it too. I am so glad to know you too love to rest your hand on the bark. I send you my love and happy wishes. Think of me when you’re in the woods as I shall be thinking of you when I meet my wonderful trees. Hugs, Sharon
Beautiful pictures, and a wonderful post. I couldn’t walk in the woods today but I feel like I did after reading your blog.
Wonderful post, great pictures. Green is so pleasing to the eyes! I think you can never love a mall or a skyscraper or a fancy car the way you can love a stream, a pod, a mountain or a tree.
Oh I’m so late in replying but I just needed to say that how absolutely true your statement above is! How rich our lives if we spent less time in malls and more time in the woods! And how poor we are if we cannot see the priceless beauty of a single tree. Thank you for writing. Loving your photography. Sharon
We also have that beautiful spring green here now. It is a special time of year.
I’m sure with your blog name that you must also be a big fan of green as I am! 😀 Always lovely to meet another who notices the varying shades of green that the forests display. It’s just been wonderful getting to see the natural beauty of life through your eyes. Thanks for coming by! Sharon
May the Divine Springtime bless you and keep you in this wonderful space of love, light and tender green, Dear Sharon! Thank you for this lovely blessed post!
My dear Cathy,
Oh thank you so much for this beautiful blessing which cocoons me! How wonderful to be able to walk in the healing light of nature each day. Much love, Sharon
You describe that special early spring green so beautifully. I agree it is so empowering to place a palm on a tree and feel its life force. The trees ‘speak’ through their bark and branches and even a hand held over a very still leaf can sense the ‘living’ of a tree. I am glad you have this place of serenity and strength.
I had never considered myself a tree-hugger and yet, it felt so natural I was just driven to go close to a tree, huddle in its sheltering shade and hold on to it. An instinctive urge as comfortable as coming home. As needful and nourishing as breathing. I have seen these trees through all the seasons just as they have seen me through the seasons of life. Thank you so much for writing. I know you understand and I love hearing from you everytime. Thanks for your patience in waiting for this reply! School is out. Summer is here and life is with a seven-year old boy on summer hols 😀 Hugs, talk to you later. I hope the dawning rays of the sun reach you today! Sharon
Lovely sun today. Enjoy the summer hols.
Sharon from that very first image of the green leaf, etched by nature, I walked with you on your spring day, it was beautiful, Finland looks stunning. Your words are like poetry in motion. Sending the reader on a peaceful journey. Thank you for sharing this day.
Hi Kath, you can be forgiven if you’ve forgotten what it was that you wrote and who I am since this reply comes long after replies should have been made! School is out and I was just swept off my feet by a seven-year old Jedi. Next thing I knew it’s been three weeks. Thank you so much for taking a walk with me to my favourite place to unwind each day. And for enjoying the delight of green as I do. To the loveliness of each season. Sharon
I love this beautiful Spring-green as well… and the time of the year. Your photos as always are amazing, as well as your way of writing!
Hello Elina, I’m writing this at 10pm and the sky is a beautiful pale blue. The summer days, my seven year old and all the loveliness of the day keep me out each day. Wishing Hyvää Kesää to you and your lovely family! Thank you for your warm message. Sharon
Kiitos samoin 🙂
Thanks for another gorgeous, uplifting post Sharon! Much love
Salaam Mehmudah! Always so good to hear from you. Thinking of you with a warm heart and sending you joy and peace my friend. Much love to you too. Sharon
Thanks for this post Sharon. It has a lot of divine beauty, both in your writing and the amazing picturing of mother nature. I have a quite similar relationship with nature, that’s where I truly feel part of the creation, one with life. Wonderful and uplifting!
I knew you would catch the same spirit and understand Tiny. Your words, poems and photography testify to this oneness with life. Much love from the Land of the Midnight Sun. Sharon
Your writing is truly inspirational and shed’s much light…
Thank you for taking the time to leave me this message. My heart is blessed. Sharon
what a lovely post Sharon..and beautiful photos.to go with it…..love the greens..you are so fortunate to live near this place…
“.I drop the load of stones and pebbles that have accumulated in my heart. The knots of the mind start to untangle…” love this…( this happens to me when I am with the gentle giants 🙂 )
just love this post Sharon..
thank you so much for sharing this with us..
After seeing your awe-inspiring photos of the gentle giants, I can just imagine what it must do to your mind and your heart! Thank you for enjoying with me some of my favourite things. It makes it a double joy. Take care and warmest greetings to you and your loved ones! Sharon
Dear Sharon…Finland sounds nearly as achingly beautiful as your words. You have a heart that is so open to all that this world is and can be. You are a gift to all of us.
I am deeply humbled and deeply renewed by your message Carol. I love your description “achingly beautiful” for that Finland certainly is. For how many times have I felt moved to tears gazing at the quiet glory of the gentle landscape before me. With gratitude, Sharon
Love your philosophical thoughts in between these stunning pictures. Absolutely stunning. So vivid, beautiful.
Beautiful writing and post… Thank you dear, have a nice weekend, love, nia
How are you doing my dear Nia! The courage of the people of your country has been amazing and I think of you often in these days of unrest. I wish you peace and thank you so much for being here. Take care and please keep us posted. With much love to you. Sharon
“The gracious trees” — just sublime! What a beautiful post, and those images are just heavenly. Without such scenes, where would we be as a species?
Oh where would we be indeed without these gracious trees indeed. School is out and my son and I spend almost everyday out in the woods exploring new trails, discovering all sorts of treasures and delight and come home satiated by the sights and sounds and lungfuls of fresh piney air. I know you have many of such days yourself! Sorry for this late reply. You know who and what’s been taking my time! 😀 It’s almost 11pm and the sun is a lovely pale pinkish blue. With love from Finland, Sharon
That’s great that there are always beautiful forest near to your house.
It is indeed my favourite place! The forest is now full of wild strawberries and it looks like soon we will have lots of blueberries too. Also now lots of wild flowers. My son is now on school holidays and together with my husband we all go to the woods a lot. Happy summer Masa and hello to all at home! Sharon
Such a well-written ode to spring. Coulda sworn I was reading Muir, Thoreau, or even Emerson. Beautiful prose, beautiful images.
Some of my most favourite and most respected authors. Such great inspirations to me. You are so kind and I appreciate your support for my work. I have been immensely blessed knowing you MJ. Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to the baby Ospreys! Sharon
I’m completely with you on that first green flush of spring. It’s a beautiful, but ephemeral, thing that imparts a sense of excitement.
Hello Finn!! How very good to see you again! As always I have walked the woods and noticed the wildflowers and the shrubs and the birds and have so often wished I had you with me as a walking encyclopedia! Yes, I can see you understand the excitement of seeing the world turn green for the first time after winter. Wishing you wonderful, lovely days. Sharon
Such a beautiful post that made me linger on your every word, savor the beauty of every picture and reflect on life and the beauty of every spring time. Keep them coming, Sharon!
Your comment warmed my heart Malou. I apologise for the late reply. Summer and school vacation have all but taken me out of the house every single day! 😀 I can’t wait for you to start your summer hols and tell us all about it when you get back. Thank you so much for coming by! Sharon
You seem to have a oneness with nature, Sharon. Your love and appreciation for the beauty around you comes to life in your writing. I too love the smells and vivid colors of spring. Massive trees remind me that I am but small segment of this earth. Lovely piece of writing, Sharon.
Sharon, you have captured that most lovely, gentle Spring green so beautifully. Although everything where I live is now in full bloom, I easily remember exactly what you have captured in words and images – the newness, the promise, the tenderness of the buds on the trees. It is a great gift that you live both near a shore and adjacent to a nature preserve, and I know how much you appreciate it. Nature does give us the strength to go on in our darkest times, doesn’t it. Thanks for sharing your woods. (and the kids, too!) Hugs, Jeanne
You could very easily be describing what has happened in front of my house this week. After days of rain and now warmer weather and a couple of days of sun, what was only a hint of spring has become full blown.
The green scenery is so different from our high desert. I’ll bet it smells amazing. I’m fascinated that Finnish children are taught to be reverent toward nature. How wonderful.
It`s a beautiful post Sharon and I love your spring photos, especially the young leaves and the trees. I love this special spring green colour too. Spring came late here this year, so it looks like we will keep this light green colour for a while yet. Hugs
What a beautiful and uplifting post. Your camera captures such light-filled images while your words give us wings.
Beautiful selective thought painting a charming portrait.of spring.Thank you for reading my post (Vacation…) wishing you the best.jalal
It’s good to keep our mind and heart calm by walking in the woods. I am sorry to hear that you had a chemotherapy before. My mom had one time and the only time that I have to wait to see her again in heaven, seems such a long time for me to wait. Having good diet, and avoid most chemically processed food is important not to let the illness coming back. Take care, and I feel the peacefulness in the writing. I like some of your photos, because there is a sense of zen, to see the world from seemingly a simple way.
My dear Sharon,
How beautiful and poignant. I felt a stirring in my soul to get outside and walk in the woods. The pictures are lovely as are your words. Thank you.
Sharon, your poetic reverence for nature is truly divine. Just set aside your worldly mind and simply be one with your environment. Mmmm that’s peace, children understand immediately and they’re not shy to share it with anyone, bless their hearts. Thank you for another precious post of springtime renewal, my spirit breathes. ♥
Lovely post, Sharon. All your photos are gorgeous, but that last photo really puts the cherry on the top. 🙂
Sharon, I am always moved deep within my heart and spirit by what you share…you have a gorgeous touch that massages ones mind and soul! Even on my worse days, i forget the pain when i visualize the beauty of your images, your heart and your mind. Your spirit always glows so very fervently! God bless! I do so love the new look! It is so embracing and so soulfully inviting!!!
What a beautiful and inspiring post. I love that green of which you speak and the woods are always a source of peace and calm for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your images.
Amazing photos… 😀
Very beautiful testimony to spring, to nature’s sustenance, and really to yourself as well.
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http://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/its-all-turned-to-custard/ Here is the custard recipe you said you would like to know. Spicy lentil soup is next on my list. Hope life is treating you well.
You’re too kind! I am most touched to be remembered in a bowl of creamy loveliness. I await your spicy lentil soup! It’s a beautiful clear morning here and my son and the husband are out studying bugs. 😀
Bug study! Wonderful. And sunshine. So good.
Oh my goodness, Sharon – this a beautiful ode to trees and their leaves and the connection with nature that, once found, is irresistible. I’ve spent many a quiet, peaceful, rejuvenating hour at the nature center where I used to work, and there is just nothing like it. Your photos are wonderful, and your prose is equal to them in beauty.
What a perfect and poetic description of the fresh new spring. I LOVE that you conclude with a photograph of the fresh-faced children in the springtime of their lives. A beautiful piece, both the writing and photography.
Wow, you have a wonderful new look, or at least new since before I took a long hiatus from blogging. Very nice Sharon.
Sharon, what a beautiful post you have created here with all those gorgeous shades of green and that group of delightful children. I felt my throat tighten when I saw the silver birch trees, a reminder of the forests in Minnesota where I spent my childhood.
A very very beautiful post, so beautifully written and with superb photos !
your images are fabulous!!