Betty Ridge and Susanne Bounds offer a message observing and celebrating the spring equinox.
Moment of Perspective – Spring is like a perhaps hand
Persephone, our AV Coordinator, shares a few thoughts about Spring followed by a Spring poem by E.E. Cummings.
The opening words are a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds; seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness. These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind. The quality of your life depends on the seeds you water. If you plant tomato seeds in your gardens, tomatoes will grow. Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow. When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy. When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry. The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong.
Carolyn McDade, the composer of our Prelude this Sunday, Rising Green, also composed Spirit of Life. I didn’t know that. According to some, Spirit of Life is the best known and loved prayer for UU’s. Jim Scott, the arranger of Rising Green is also very familiar to us as he wrote one of my very favorite hymns, Gather the Spirit, and others in our hymnals. We call him “our friend” as he has been to our congregation at least three times either doing the service or contributing the music or in concert. Paul and Rebecca hosted him at their home the last time. He is a wonderful guitarist, composer, and committed environmentalist. Rebecca, Paul and I offer this to you in celebration of the coming of spring and new life.
– Eva Riebold, Pianist
Chant for the Seasons
I’m “off” this week from church work (thank you, Rev. Michelle, Colleen, and Eva for collectively insisting that I do that sometimes, and to every other person who picks up extra tasks and contributes more to the music to make that possible) but I couldn’t resist quickly coordinating this track because it’s a touchstone of this congregation for seasonal changes. We have sung it many times to mark the passing of Equinoxes and Solstices together and hearing it again brings me right back to our building and our people. I’m going to play in my dirt this week while I’m away. Wishing you peace and joy and adequate seasonal allergy relief.
– Emily, Music Director
Mother Earth, Beloved Garden
We have used several of Amanda Udis-Kessler’s compositions, particularly recently in the age of zoom. She has been very generous in permitting the UU’s to use her music. She is a prolific composer of progressive religious music and lyrics used all over the world. And we found her in our newer hymnal, Mother Earth, Beloved Garden, our Interlude. Our service on Sunday is in celebration of the equinox and a commitment to our Mother Earth and in recognition of one of our sources, the pagan earth-centered tradition. Thanks to Persephone Hamburg for joining Rebecca, Paul and myself in the performance.
– Eva Riebold, Pianist
Our closing words are A Blessing for the Spring Equinox, by Fiona Lynne Koefoed-Jesperson.
May you find the balance you desire and need, light and dark, spirit and body, mind and soul. May you recognise the gradual powerful rebirth happening within you. May you awaken to the potential and the blossoming of your own self. And like the wild geese, may you find your way home.