All around us here on the West Coast we are witnessing the arrival of spring. It comes sooner here than in the East where snow still threatens and lingers. Flowers are beginning to bloom; the cherry blossoms are beginning to fill the trees; and the sun hangs longer in the sky each day. It is a beautiful time of year, one to be savored deeply after the rains of winter. The birds of the air and the creatures of the earth seem to be just as pleased as I am with the change in seasons.
It is a time of year during which we seek for signs of new life around us. Mother Nature never holds back with her witness. Perhaps in many ways human hope is rooted in the DNA of creation. At this time of year we simply need to open our senses and our hearts in order to drink deeply the grace of this hope. Walking mindfully and contemplatively out of doors, in a garden or park, can be a simple way to commune with such hope.
Seeing hope within the human community is however not always that easy. For every step forward in the pursuit of justice, peace, and sustainability there seems to be other steps. Sometimes these are backward steps; at other times they are away from life. Yet, when I slow down and listen closely it is easier to see the DNA of hope that runs through the human species. Often I find that I have to turn off the news; walk away from the internet; or leave the meeting early so as to create an open space within to see hope in the events of the day. Once I identify an event of hope that is taking place right now in the world it is easier to stay connected and work with others in creating a better world.
Easter, the season of Resurrection, is a season of hope for me. It is a time when I am reminded to look for the DNA of hope wherever it runs, within creation and within the human community. It takes discipline on my side to listen and discern the presence of hope around me. But once identified, I am renewed and better able to stay focused on the tasks ahead. I also find that I am better able to live in hope. For this, I give thanks.