Copy and paste into worship material
We express thanks for the regeneration of nature, for the death and resurrection of all around us. Life passes us by, death takes away, but we know that the cycle of life has value, meaning, joy and sorrow. For it is all a whole to be experienced, to be taken within the soul and to be lived to the full. Amen.
Let us acknowledge the source of life
for the earth and for nourishment.
May we conserve the earth
that it may sustain us
and let us seek sustenance
for all who inhabit the world.
Let us distinguish
parts within the whole
and bless their differences.
Like sabbath and the six days of creation
may our lives be made whole
(from Falk (1990), Notes on Composing New Blessings, 52-53, in Plaskow, J., Standing Again at Sinai, San Francisco: Harper, 142-3)
There now follows a meditation, being a visualisation of moving from winter to spring. You may wish to actively take part in this meditation, or simply to listen and reflect on matters yourself. First we have some seconds of quietness and preparation before I facilitate a journey through space, seeing winter change to spring, with the metaphor of new life and new hope.
It is late in the morning and yet only now is there just enough light to see. And you are in space, looking down from a great height just below the clouds, somewhere west of Hull's suburbs, looking down over fields and a few scattered buildings. The scene you see is a darker white with snow, the white with a blue hue. This is so even though there are few clouds above you holding their place in space on a windless day. The hedges form dark barriers between the fields into a patchwork. The trees you can see from above are bare. Buildings are scattered here and there, in a dark red.
The scene looks cold and it is cold. What can you do but travel, and it is easy to travel through the air at will. Move through the air with will, the coulds just above, as you see passing below more dark lines of hedges and the whites of fields with a blue hue. Trees pass, with nothing put bare brances piercing into the sky. The hue of blue on snow, dark hedges, spiky trees, little buildings pass below.
Just behind you, below, is the shoreline of a river, the River Humber. The river is a cool light blue in colour, cold and a frosty appearance. You move along seeing the shoreline, and there you pass over the towers that stretch towards you up high, into your space, but you are much much higher. Keep moving, a road below twists though its space to a long stretch, and below are more bare trees and dark houses and here we are above, where people live.
People are scurrying around below you, cars are moving, taking care. You though are free, free to move, and you are. You move east and east, and parts you recognise. See the roads, the parks, the shops, houes, places you recognise? And as you come more eastwards you pass over this church, and moving moving you glimpse the city centre, people busy, much active, still glimpses of frost reflecting up from some streets, some small pathes of people's breath and car exhausts.
But turn move north, and more westward again. Move through the air, looking and seeing, and do you recognise more? Notice, though, the frost is drying. in fact notice, the frost is gone. Do you see, between the buildings, a little more in the way of light? Notice too, as we move towards Cottingham, if not yet quite there, the green is a little more green.
Yes there is brightness down there, and notice specks of white in the green patchwork. They are specks of snowdrops. Imagine snowdrops. Imagine them, for a moment, close: running them through your fingers and seeing the delicate flowers.
But you are high above, still. Moving again, move through air. The grass is greener, everything is lighter. Can you recognise Cottingham from above? And see in the grass, specks of yellow? These are specks of daffodils. Imagine daffodils! Imagine them for a moment, close; look closely for a moment at the clumps of daffodils as they are in the lawn. Bright and yellow they are.
But you are high, high and moving, and they are but specks of yellow below, but growing in number as you move into fields below. But these fields are now bright, and green hedges you can see. You pass above and over a long busy road. A windmill passes by below, its sails turning into your space, and hills undulate around. The chill, you notice, has gone, it is pleasant.
You are into the hills of the wolds. The sun - it is warm on your back. Young lambs are gambolling in the fields. The fields are growing, new life is everywhere. Birds are singing and flying. And the sun is high and warm.
So come down, come down, into a field of of grass; come gently down into long grass. Lay down in the long grass with the sun high above, shining brighly. How warm it is; lay down and feel the warmth. And let the sun's rays bathe you in their life-giving energy. Your eyes closed, the sun brightens your eye lids. Spring has well and truly arrived and summer is but moments away. So, protecting your eyes, feel as though you gently move them so the sun is not directly on your eyelids, and gently, gently, open your eyes, and let the meditation end.