May: A Reflection on Time and Trillium by Sara Wright

With May coming to a close in a few days, I am feeling nostalgia. This month is both elusive and dramatic – from bare trees to lime green, and now lilacs so heavily laden with blooms that some are bowed as if in prayer.  Wood frogs and peepers bring in the night and the first toads are hopping around my overgrown flower garden; in the forests I surprise them when peering closely at small flowers. Gray tree frogs trill at dusk. Violets of every hue grace the earth outside my door along with robust dandelions, forget – nots, rafts of deep blue ajuga, delicate bells of solomons seal, mayapple umbrellas, false solomon’s seal, wild columbine and golden celandine all nestled in long grasses and moss. No mowing happens here!

On my woodland paths starflowers and Canada mayflowers are now so thick I fear treading on even one, as if one foot could destroy the whole. Down by the brook white trillium bloom on, both painted and purple are setting seed, while bloodroot, arbutus trumpets and delicate anemones have transformed into leafy memory. Ostrich and hay ferns are unfurling, creeping blue phlox and dames rocket are budded or blooming; pink and white lady slippers are beckoning both here and in the woods. June is in the air.

Continue reading “May: A Reflection on Time and Trillium by Sara Wright”

Wildflower Wonder by Sara Wright

Ephemeral Emergence

 Arbutus trumpets

   seduce bumblebees

 three lobed

trillium wings

streak rose

shining stars

pearling forest floors

wild oats bow

bluebead swords


wild lily

leaves clasp

palms in prayer

stained glass

hemlock sky

 filters light

 fragrant needles

fracture white

sun glare….

‘spring beauties’


Continue reading “Wildflower Wonder by Sara Wright”

What If Jesus Is Dead (And It’s A Good Thing)? by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee

Bear with me.

I know that most Christians accept some version of the idea that Jesus, the person, died, and then ‘rose from the dead’ in a supernatural, miraculous way – probably the most common definition of what Christians celebrate at Easter. I grew up in progressive Christian churches, where I, too, was taught this idea, which I found fascinating and inspiring. Many people (both Christians and others) still find it healing and inspirational; and I want to state clearly that I think that’s well and good.


What I would like to suggest, however, is that this approach may miss the main point of Easter, of resurrection, and of these narratives. Here goes.

Continue reading “What If Jesus Is Dead (And It’s A Good Thing)? by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee”

Coming Home to Spring by Sara Wright

The older I become the more I appreciate Nature as she is, Nature the Creatrix of the Earth. Nature creating without human intervention. The cycles of life and death are so intimately intertwined and never more evident than in the spring when each rotting log becomes home to ants who are feasted upon by black bears (whose primary protein source 93% comes from ants, grubs and larvae). Splintered detritus becomes the rich soil that supports the seedlings of the next generation of trees, even as the ground peppers the moment with the delicate three lobed trillium, lady-slipper, twin flower, partridge berry trailing arbutus, unfurling spirals – the birthing of ferns, and perhaps my favorite, wild lily of the valley soon to fill this forested glade with her intoxicating scent.

Outside my window, diversity reins as Royalty! Maples, ash, oak, beech moose maple, witch hazel, spruce hemlock, fir, balsam converse with one another, above and below ground – their language is made of pulsing vibrations, sound and scent. The naturally fallen white birch logs crisscross each other creating complex and unique patterns apparent to any artistic eye. The brook is wending her serpentine way to the sea, her spongy banks of sphagnum moss are steeped in emerald. The translucent papery thin leaves of the beech tree ripple in the slightest breeze.

Continue reading “Coming Home to Spring by Sara Wright”

The Gift by Sara Wright

We drifted through

the green

hungrily absorbing

plant souls,

each twig, flower, and tree

has her own story to tell…


Such a joyful way

for me

to spend a

‘mother’s day.’

Being with him

when family

extends sharp claws

is an antidote to suffering.


“This is my church”

He said,

not for the first time.

I nodded.

He and I are almost

always in agreement

when it comes

to plants

and people.

Continue reading “The Gift by Sara Wright”

Stopping to Smell the Flowers by Marie Cartier

Photo by: Kimberly Esslinger

There is a saying, “Take time to smell the flowers.” Attributed to many different sources, it means among other things–  take time and be grateful. Take time and relax. Take time.


Photo by: Kimberly Esslinger

In that spirit I am sending along pictures from the amazing “super bloom” California is experiencing this spring. It is the most magnificent we have ever had, I think. It happens once a decade, but we are lucky to have had a super bloom in 2017 and now this year as well.  California had an extreme drought last year and then extreme rain this past winter. And now we have flowers…and flowers. Poppies are the state flower of California and they are being celebrated—all over. And people dropping in by helicopter and influencers ruining some of the poppy beds by laying in them for Instagram pics. Yes, it’s been crazy. But, when we were there (my wife and I) on a past Sunday, it felt so magical that so much of Los Angeles it seemed was out to smell the flowers. You can see a picture of folks lined up (my wife at the end in the picture below) photographing the flowers. Flowers suddenly are the new super star!

Continue reading “Stopping to Smell the Flowers by Marie Cartier”

A Return to Light by Judith Shaw

judith shaw photoSpring is here in the northern hemisphere and with it the return of light in the yearly round of seasons. Today is Earth Day. Flowers bloom, new seedlings emerge and birdsong fills the air. As the cold and dark of winter gives way once again to warmth and light, cultures across the world celebrate fertility and the rebirth of life and light.

Continue reading “A Return to Light by Judith Shaw”

The Coming of Spring: Reflections on Pesach and Judaism by Ivy Helman

meandminiIt is, I think, quite common knowledge that most Jewish holidays relate to the seasonal cycles of the Earth.  Sukkot celebrates the fall harvest.  Chanukah sheds light on the winter darkness.  Tu B’Shevat marks the end of the dry season and so begin the prayers for rain in Israel.  For Purim, we throw off our winter doldrums and let off a little steam to settle our cabin fever.  Pesach is no exception: welcome spring: birth, renewal and even creation.  The leaves return to the trees, baby animals are born, flowers bloom, warmer weather arrives and somehow the possibilities of the coming summer are endless.

In fact, the associations between Pesach and spring are many.  Arthur Waskow in Seasons of Our Joy explains the origins of the connections (pages 133-139).  There were probably two different seasonal celebrations – one of shepherds and one of farmers – that came together around the time of the Babylonian exile into one festival which we can see in Exodus 12 – 13: Pesach.  Farmers in preparation for the harvest of spring wheat cleared out the old crumbs and fermentations of the last year to make room for the new.  Shepherds celebrated the arrival of baby sheep and their flock’s fertility in general by slaughtering a sheep, putting its blood on their tents and dancing around a fire.   Continue reading “The Coming of Spring: Reflections on Pesach and Judaism by Ivy Helman”

Out of the Darkness by Gina Messina

Gina and SarahToday is Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, a time to celebrate moving into light and abundance after the darker cold winter. While many of us are lucky enough to have shelter and access to food out of season, this is a time that continues to be a resurrection in countless ways. Not only is it a literal shift from darker days to increasing light, but a symbolic time that allows us to reflect on changes, that while seeming to be hopeless can blossom into new life.

I have been consumed in a time of shifting ground and deep darkness as my sixteen year marriage has come to an end.  Choosing to divorce rather than remain committed to good times and bad is a frightening and soul crushing event. To walk away from what seems to be stability in favor of a questionable future and to defy one’s foundational understanding of family as dictated by society and religion is beyond terrifying.  Continue reading “Out of the Darkness by Gina Messina”

Spring in the Era of Pesticides, Global Climate Change, and War by Carol P. Christ

Carol in Crete croppedThis was not a normal winter. It rained and rained and rained. It was grey, grey, grey. Gale force winds blew in from the ocean, not once but many times. Several of my shutters were shattered. An olive tree fell in my garden. I pruned the dead leaves from its branches and had it hauled away. I am still in the process of pulling out a large number of plants that did not survive an unusual number of very cold days.

The soil is so saturated that streams are running where they have never been seen before, the land gives way, and boulders come crashing down the mountainsides. I have decided to remove all of my traditional shutters rather than repair them–as it is becoming clear that no shutters will survive the winds that will blow over our island in the coming years.

They say that we used to have strong gale winds of about 50 miles per hour once a year. Now we have hurricane force winds of 70 miles per hour several times each winter. I once read that Lesbos has the largest number of sunny days of all the Greek islands. We often sit out of doors wearing light jackets in the middle of winter. This year we did not.

My response to the long winter that has only just begun to give way was to stay inside. Though I said I was mildly depressed, I think deep down I was sad and angry.

Changes in the weather are normal and natural phenomena. But it is becoming increasingly evident that the changes we now experiencing are not. Climate experts tell us that because of the carbon we have released into the atmosphere of our planet, we will experience more and more extreme weather conditions.

I have noticed a decline in bees and butterflies in my garden in recent years. So far this spring there are almost none. This is not the result of global climate change, but of our failure to heed the warnings of Rachel Carson to stop poisoning the environment with pesticides.

house martin in flightThe house martins have returned. I hear their liquid chatter as they fly above me. Freesias and irises are about to come into bloom. Pale pink, almost white petaled flowers are opening on the quince tree. Red leaves are budding on the pomegranate trees. The Judas tree burst into deep pink blossom overnight. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. This year is no exception.

Spring has also brought an increase in the arrival of refugees fleeing war in Syria and Afghanistan to our island. People discuss what will happen to them, but no one is talking about ending war.

Although spring is coming, it is hard for me to rejoice today. Human beings seem to be hell bent on destroying life. Right now I am holding back tears and screams because I fear that if I let them out, they will not stop.

Postscript: I will find the strength to rejoice in the regeneration of life and to redouble my commitment to save what can be saved–because we must.

Carol leads the life-transforming Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete (facebook and twitter)–space available on the spring and fall 2015 tours.  Carol’s books include She Who Changes and and Rebirth of the Goddess; with Judith Plaskow, the widely-used anthologies Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions; and forthcoming next year, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. Photo of Carol by Maureen Murdock.

Spring by Deanne Quarrie

deanne_2011_B_smWe celebrate the Spring Equinox as a reflection of the birthing time of the year. We have made it through the winter’s cold and ice, experienced the warming of the Earth and the flood waters that prepared for the birth of all that is new. Seeds are germinating and beginning to sprout. We see that around us, depending on where we live. Here in Texas the red buds are in bloom and some of the trees have their fresh green leaves opening up at the tips. Just seeing these indicators, brings an internal feeling of birth. My heart expands in joy when I see my first red bud tree in bloom – the first buttercup opening to the sun!

Red BudThis is the time that the Goddess makes herself known by birthing all into existence. She first creates day and night and on this day they are equal, only to rise and fall as the year changes. Then She creates the stars, the heavens, the green things upon the earth, the animals and us – all Her children. All of us glistening in Her birth waters, ready to dance in Her rhythms.

I see the creation of day and night in equal portions coming first, as a lesson for all that follows; balance, a moment of equilibrium, manifesting everything else. We attempt to have that place of balance in our lives, but know from experience it never stays exactly in the center. All we can do is hope to bring it back as we move between states. It is like the pendulum, swinging back and forth from one side to the center then to the other side, but always seeking center.Balance Continue reading “Spring by Deanne Quarrie”

Nature: The Best Muslim and My Favorite Muse by Jameelah X. Medina

Jameelah MedinaNow that spring is upon us, it started me thinking about the beach. I love the ocean. Like me, lots of people get that back-to-the-peaceful-womb feeling when looking at the ocean. As I thought about the ocean, I realized I saw it as having a very strong feminine energy. She is like our distant relative. I mean, we are mostly water and when we cry it’s salty, when we sweat it’s salty, and we both (ocean and human) are alive, and we are both Muslims (in the sense of submission to Allah), so we are connected.

Allah says that there is nothing Allah did NOT create from water; I think this water connection is what so many of us feel when we are at the foot of the ocean. We feel closeness to Allah because we are in our element, or better said, we are in a space so close to something that shares the same chemical elements as us perhaps. The earth is one big organism within which we all play a part, though we think we are completely independent. Khalil Gibran has a quote that says something like if we love, our love neither comes from us nor belongs to us; if we are happy, our happiness is not in us, but in life itself; if we feel pain, our pain is not in our wounds, but in all of nature. I believe this. If we are still enough and just tune into that faculty beyond the most recognized, we can also feel it. Continue reading “Nature: The Best Muslim and My Favorite Muse by Jameelah X. Medina”

The Bee Goddess Calls by Judith Shaw

judith ShawSpring arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and all of Goddess’s children are waking up from our winter slumbers.  Birds are singing, fruit trees are blossoming, bees are buzzing, and early spring bulb flowers are in full bloom.  Signs of spring fever are evident as we find ourselves full of energy and vitality for new projects and relationships.

As new life emerges from the Earth we can more easily reflect on our place in the greater scheme of life.  It’s a good time to question the values of our consumer society and ask if there is another way.

In contrast to these values of domination, separation, and consumption, ancient wisdom traditions teach that we are all connected – to each other, to all life, to the whole natural world and to the spiritual cosmos. Continue reading “The Bee Goddess Calls by Judith Shaw”

Let’s Build an Altar for Springtime by Barbara Ardinger

Barbara ArdingerWith spring springing up all over and warm days coming back in the colder climates, let’s build an altar to celebrate life. Now don’t worry—I’m not advising you to worship idols and do anything to insult your god. We’re not building a churchly altar, but one based on the concept of love respect for the earth we live on, the powers of Mother Nature, and the indisputable fact that we are all kin. This altar represents no disrespect for any religion, faith, sect, or denomination. Its purpose is to focus our awareness that the galaxy, the universe, the earth, the continent we live on, the town we live in, and spaces where we live and work are all sacred. The purpose of this altar is to remind us every day that every religion is sacred and that even the most humble among us have a place on the planet.

We start by considering the four elements—fire, air, water, and earth—which go back at least as far as classical Greek philosophy. Long ago, people believed that everything partook of these four elements. They looked around and saw the elements in action every day: ovens and lightning, soup and rivers, breezes and birds, gardens and hills. The four elements became the four humours, which came to the principles of medieval medicine that ruled our temperaments. The elements are also prominent in alchemy and astrology. Continue reading “Let’s Build an Altar for Springtime by Barbara Ardinger”

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