Embracing God’s Springtime at Pentecost — by Marian Noll
Spirited Reflection — Sunday, June 15, 2014
Sr. Marian Noll, OSU (Ursuline Sisters of Bruno), Canadian Religious Conference is a Board member of the Prairie Ursuline Centre in Bruno, Saskatchewan
Spending time outdoors during these months of late spring early summer gives me much joy. Nature speaks to me of resurrection, new life, new birth. After that first oh so important spring rain washes away the winter grime, the leaves emerge; the perennials send up their first tentative new shoots; the birds hatch their young and begin the ritual of constant feeding.
As a child I felt totally in the presence of God when I was outside. I experienced wonder in the grass and in the fields, in the innocent eyes of the young animals. The warmth of the sun, after we’d survived another of those icy winters, was like the warmth of a parent’s love, holding me close and safe.
Then I went to school and learned my catechism. I learned that God was in heaven. God’s tasks apparently did not include inspiring wonder in my heart when a friend showed me a wren’s nest with three little eggs. God was busy with important things, but I was wonder struck.
God hadn’t time to show me the first prairie crocuses in the pasture or to rejoice with me in making little rivers out of the melting snow during the spring runoff. God was too occupied in heaven to spend time with little kids playing in the wonders of God’s earth.
We need to notice God in our everyday lives. We need to remember that we are always in God’s presence, in our homes with our companions, outside in nature with the dogs and the frogs and yes, maybe even the ticks. Awareness of God in and around all things, including ourselves, shows us the beauty, the intricacies, the wonders of our natural world. It can let us see the urgency of doing justice in all ways and in all things.
The ancient Greeks and Romans saw sprites and spirits, gods and goddesses in everything: in their temples, yes, but also in the forests and the plains, the waters and the seas, the skies and the winds. They respected all of nature as the home of the divine. Aware of God’s universal presence, we too can live reverently as did the ancients.