It is Spring now, at least north of the equator, when increasing light and warmth encourages the earth to open herself in generous abundance. Blossoms and leaves begin to unfold, insects suddenly buzz past in the sunlight, and birds dart about, busy with nest-building, pausing from time to time to sing lustily. Hearing them, we might think, ‘Yes, that is the life we have missed through the cold and the dark!’
And with this change come the Spring festivals, the Christian celebration of Easter, and the Jewish celebration of Passover. What is remarkable about both of these festivals is that they not only give a picture of goodness, but they also teach the lesson of change, of transformation. In the nights of Passover, there is feasting, but also the ceremonial remembrance of the hardship from which the Jewish people were delivered by the kindness of the Lord; the matzoh bread, for example, recalls the bricks their forefathers laid for the Egyptians, the bitter herbs remind those present of the experience of slavery, and so forth. In the celebration of Easter, the joyful resurrection is preceded by the profound sorrow of the crucifixion.
We can learn from this that all is in movement, a movement working upward toward something good. It is true for the frogs awakening in the chilly waters of the pond, and it is true for the humans as well, the only difference being that our awakening must include the activation of our will-power. In this connection, we might recall the words of Hazrat Inayat from a recent post, “Believing is a process. By this process the God within is awakened and made living.”
The frog–we suppose–doesn’t reflect upon the months spent dormant in the cold mud, nor does it make a conscious decision to look for a mate; it responds to the conditions and acts as it has been made to act. The human, having the gift of some free-will, must encourage the growth of belief, and perhaps an essential element to feed that young plant is the recollection of the darkness we have experienced, so that we can say with all our heart, ‘Take me in Thy parental arms, Lord, I do not want this ever again!’ Then we are more motivated to follow ‘the path of Thy great Goodness.’
Spring, therefore, is not a moment but a process, and our awakening is also a process, a natural process, in which we have the privilege of taking part.