Friday, April 11, 2014

Up Welling

When you live in a coastal region, there is a weather experience that mainlanders may not always recognize the full effect of. When the wind is, in my case from east to west off the Atlantic Ocean, we experience a warming or cooling depending on whether the water temperature is cooler than the air temperature. During certain times of the year currents bring cool waters to the surface from the depths of the ocean floor. This is called upwelling. During summer months upwelling and easterly winds temper the earth’s ambient heat sometimes driving the fish to warmer waters and the birds follow them.

We humans are said to be 98% water and so it is not surprising that throughout our art forms water plays an important part. Water has been a metaphor for many aspects of our experience. This morning I am pondering upwelling as a spiritual metaphor.

An upwelling of emotions can happen when we are least prepared for it. Though time has lessened my grief; for sometime after the passing of my mother in law and then almost exactly a year later my own mother, something small and random would often spark a memory of them causing me to weep for missing them. Tears would well up in my eyes and I felt like choking on my sadness.

When my children were young I experienced the upwelling of joy. When they were delighted by some new experience and would laugh with unfettered happiness I felt that happiness too. It was pure and intense and unlike any other pleasure I have ever felt before or since then. I am not sure there is anything as wonderful as that feeling of sharing such a pure and positive moment with another person.

Upwelling is not just emotional. It is deeply spiritual. It is one aspect of a living connection between souls. It is a transcendent experience. It washes over us, leaving its mark on us forever.

When I go really deep in prayer or meditation the emotional heat of my waking reality is cooled. Spirit calms my passions. Spirit quells my fears. Peace cleanses me. Negativity is at least temporarily driven away. There are times when I call on Spirit for courage. I need the heat of my passion not to go away but to be tempered with integrity. My fiery resolve is made stronger by the coolness of wisdom shared by those who have gone before, those I meet in my reading, my communal worship, and my travels.

I believe that real and lasting change comes from a deep place within us. It rises to our surface when we need it most, or when we are needed most. The earth’s natural cycles create the conditions for upwelling in the ocean. So too do our often unrecognized cycles of growth and rebirth bring an upwelling of Spirit in our lives. These are not just our individual cycles. They are the rhythms of the societies which we live within. We are connected to all of creation. When we give in to the upwelling Spirit we are giving our selves over to the winds of change, to the currents of deep abiding and universal Love. 

Let us not hide away from the cooler shores of a Spirit-led life. Let us learn and be tempered by the Upwelling.

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