The Springing


A Prayer in Spring

Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,

Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;

And make us happy in the happy bees,

The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird

That suddenly above the bees is heard,

The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,

And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,

The which it is reserved for God above

To sanctify to what far ends He will,

But which it only needs that we fulfill.


This morning’s forsythia blooming reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem and how it first nudged me to take joy in the small moments arising before us. “Give us pleasure in the flowers today”-not to wait for some future event “as the uncertain harvest.”

Frost uses his poet’s eye to spot what’s before him-darting birds, swarms of bees, a hummingbird’s bill-and infuses those observations with a sense of awe.  

Like Frost, we can develop that sense of wonder in this moment. One way to foster joy is to pay deep attention to the unfoldings of nature.

Another way is to celebrate in the joys that others are experiencing. Perhaps it’s the birth of a child, the arrival of a new puppy, an engagement. Can we feel, along with them, that lightness and buoyancy? Rejoicing in the good fortune of other people connects us to the rest of the world in an expansive way.

It is the season of sowing, so this week we’ll work on tilling our soil and fertilizing the seeds of joy in ourselves through the empathetic sharing with other folks.