God's Breath Has Come ... Have You Lost All Your Leaves?

About a week ago, I felt the first breath of spring on my cheek, on my being. It was physical--the humid warmth, the raw smell of green growth. It was mental--a new focus, and simultaneous expansion of the mind. It was spiritual--a settling into great peace and contentment, along with the stirrings of excitement for new ventures.

Let me tell you, this "winter" was hard! (One must put winter in quotes in California to appease all our Northern friends.) Winters in California are easier, of course (or, perhaps) than winters in North Dakota and similar environs. However, the trees lose their leaves, the rains and cold come ... It is still very much a season of interiors. I become tired of my home, tired with myself and many issues arise, patterns of thought that still have not lost their grip on me.

I told my Step Mother/Second Mother (who also suffered a hard winter, she said) that my saving grace this winter was a passage from a book by Adyashanti that spoke of trees, which lose their leaves, in winter.

Before the leaves come down, great winter winds shake and blow--a powerful cleansing of the Earth. Spiritually, winter, if one allows it fully, can be that cleanse for us, for "human" nature. As when one runs about with a broom and duster in the house, sometimes dust must be kicked up before it can be swept out.

I saw all of these attachments that still cling--leaves shaking, dust swirling--ways I continued to define myself by that which is external to Me. Nothing really to do with these thoughts and feelings, but be the tree--allowing it all, secure in its rootedness to that which is greater and stronger ... In fact, existence itself!

Can one be naked, a winter tree? Can one be nobody and nothing at all? Winter comes to test our defenses, asking that we drop them all ...

And now, the breath of spring has come, God's breath.

Have you lost all your leaves?