April - Glorious Spring!
When I turned the Natural Events Calendar to April, I was presented with a lovely photo of Greer Spring with a dogwood blooming on its banks, reminding me that the word “spring” has more than one meaning. I usually think of flowers springing up from the soil when I use that word at this time of year, and the calendar offered an additional meaning.
Missouri, having karst topography, is the home of many springs including Big Spring, pictured above. It is the largest spring in Missouri and in the United States and is located near Van Buren, Missouri. It puts out about 278 million gallons of water daily, is eighty feet deep, and dissolves and removes about 175 tons of limestone per day! A few years ago I visited this treasure and was silenced by the deep blue color, the sound of rushing water, and by its force and beauty. Standing by it, I felt myself in the presence something evoking wonder and awe. It seems an understatement to call this spring “big”. A more imaginative and descriptive name could be “Glorious Spring”!
Being so close to the spring felt like a celebration, even a sacred one. What else could the spring be doing with its ritual outpouring of water all day, every day, year after year, in all kinds of weather? It made me think of Thomas Berry saying, “The Universe is a single, gorgeous, celebratory event”; and, "...the future of our planet depends on human beings experiencing some numinous presence manifested in the wonderworld about us”.
To get some semblance of the numinous presence I felt, please join in a four-minute "spring" meditation. Sit back and open this homespun You Tube video (with music) of Big Spring. You might hold this thought from biblical scholar Gerhard Von Rad as you watch:
Wisdom requires a surrender,
verging on the mystical,
of a person
to the glory of existence.
Afterward, please go outdoors and immerse in your own special place of wonder. The future of our planet depends on it!
(Photo: Thanks to the National Park Service)