Spring and Things

The garden is full of birds, more each day it seems. The roving bands of goldfinches and long-tailed tits continue to sweep through, pausing to feed and then skittering on to wherever it is they’re going, but travellers from more distant places are moving in and making preparations for nesting. A pair of blackcaps, and some willow warblers, have come to join the robins and the wrens, and the shy little dunnocks, in the search for bits and pieces to add to their different nests.

The spring air is still cold, despite the sunshine, but the light is actinic, biting, picking out the young leaves and the weathered fence line with deep shadow as the sun declines past midday. The processes the turning year sets in train are complex beyond understanding, and related with an intimacy we are only beginning to grasp. The old models of creation and natural selection no longer apply in the terms we knew. Love is all that can describe this tender resurrection of what the winter laid to rest; love, and the mercy that love brings to things that wait, and are changed.

It is only as we wait, under the mercy, that we too are changed. As Robert Barclay wrote, “Not by strength of arguments or by a particular disquisition of each doctrine, and convincement of my understanding thereby, came [I] to receive and bear witness of the Truth, but by being secretly reached by [the] Life.”

The ground of being, unconditioned and unconditional, is what actually is; it is the source of the verb “to be” and all that flows from it – the mysterium tremendum et fascinans itself. Emilia Fogelklou, encountering this for herself unsought, one spring day under the trees, exclaimed, “This is the great Mercifulness. This is God. Nothing else is so real as this.” All that is rests in the open hand of mercy, like St Julian’s hazelnut – somehow, this is true, beyond all that grieves, and is broken, beyond death or life itself; at the depth of all that is, love is the unfailing mercy of being.

2 thoughts on “Spring and Things

  1. Bob Harris

    I am not a Quaker, but of the few of your post I have read I have found the content to be thought inspiring. My purpose for the comment is more on the lines of personal. If you have not guessed by now I am American. I am also a blogger on hobby or self supporting farming. That is how I came upon your site. It was recommended from another post on still another blog having to do with education and the effect it is having on our society. I have been trying to make contact with other bloggers of similar interest around the world for the purpose of trading or comparing ideas and thoughts about small scale or family farming. My site is hobbyfarmlife.com should you want to check me out prior to answering. Although your post appear primarily to do with Quaker beliefs and teachings you also mention organic gardening and having a closer contact with the earth. This is also part of my hobby farm life thought.
    Anyone that you know that might be interested I would like top hear from.

    Thank You and keep it up. The reading is interesting

    1. Mike Farley Post author

      Thank you, Bob – I’ll enjoy exploring your site. I spent much of my working like in commercial dairy farming, so there’s an added interest there!

      I’ll leave your comment open here in case any of my readers would like to be in touch with you. I’m very much retired now myself, having been injured in a bad farm accident a few years ago, but if I have any further thoughts on your site I’ll gladly be in touch again myself.

      All the best



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