... the exhale, inhale, and exhale of spirit ...
“like unto April winds, blow freshness through those human trees,
and bring them to their blossoming.”
I sit on our deck this morning. I wake up early, before dawn usually. Some unknown and unknowable force stirs within my heart, within this solitude and stillness, this submission unto the transcendent. Facing west, toward our pond, the sun emerges slowly behind my back, from the other side of the universe, literally, miraculously, almost imperceptibly, lighting the dawn in deepening blues as sounds of life begin to envelop us. The wings of birds flitter; I hear songs. Squirrel energy scurries there, here. The rustle of leaves stir, rise, responding wholeheartedly to the Call of a dawn breeze, within the break of day that marks this new creation…
When I reflect on the rising of the sun, which seems to involve nothing less than the transformation of the world — from darkness to light — I cannot help but realize the energy, light, and warmth of creation toDay. This ball of fire emits heat so intense that, in order not to burn, we must maintain quite the distance from this center of existence, 93 million miles! Yet, the infinite rays from this fireball, the very source of light and life, infuses within a real kinetic energy, starting with dawn, released over the course of the day, through my form and substance, into space-time. Physically I am connected with the whole, emerging into light, new with energy, at this break of day…
What also dawns, within, is the slightest bit of chill … a chill that runs through my heart, shaking the throat of my soul, calling out to my whole being, “Wake up, Bob!” It’s that same chill, I believe, which calls us, to each one of us, when early morning breezes appear, waking us to the entire and limitless beauty of reality. Is this alarm clock for the soul something you’ve experienced? For most of my life, despite my daily ritual of rising early, getting outside to witness yet another sunrise, I failed to see or hear morning leaves rustle nor did I experience the subtle chill of this divine breeze. One day though, when I’m not exactly sure, a morning that forever will remain etched in the mysteries of existence, I saw, heard, and felt the chill of a dawn that penetrated deep into my heart, when, in a moment that seemed to stop, timeless and eternal, within the core of whatever is me, my spirit was transformed — into the brightness of and gratitude for new life. Ever since that morning, every dawn transforms the dread of a day to be anticipated, an exhausting and impossible gauntlet of mostly thankless tasks “to do” — the marathon of another labyrinth that, somehow, I would need to find a way to navigate — into a day that, again, will involve cause for celebration, a day imbued with moments worthy of remembrance and commemoration. Wakened by the chill morning breeze, now an everyday discipline of the spirit for me, my days have been transformed into sacred communion with the truth, beauty, and goodness of the entire and limitless whole of creation.
Today, therefore, constitutes a sacred space, time which calls my soul to the truth of these Holy Words from the Baha’i Revelation: “O ye beloved … of the Merciful! It is early morning, and the reviving winds of the Abha [Most Glorious] Paradise are blowing over all creation, but they can stir up only the pure of heart, and only the pure sense can detect their fragrance. Only the perceiving eye beholds the rays of the sun…. Today the soft and holy breathings of the Abha Realm are passing over every land, but only the pure in heart draw nigh and derive a benefit therefrom. It is the hope of this wronged soul that from the grace of the Self-Subsistent One and by the manifest power of the Word of God, the heads of the unmindful may be cleared, that they may perceive these sweet savors which blow from the secret rosebuds of the spirit…”
This sanctified “wake up call” rises from that breeze which can only be described as ever so slight, with sounds so subtle, as chills just barely enough to penetrate beneath the surface of my being — yes, I only began to perceive this reality after my heart had stepped beyond a certain threshold, that doorway through which hearts let go of this material world and truly become open and receptive to feeling, hearing, knowing, and connecting with what is infinite, transcendent, the never-ending teachings of spiritual reality. The discipline of my daily practice — the creating of space to receive the spirit through meditation, the reading of and reflecting upon Holy Words revealed as divine guidance for the progress of humanity, and the endless love generated through the infinite powers of prayer — serve to intensify qualities of soul within me, attributes expressed in relation with others, with nature, and the Source of Life itself. Today my heart opens so wide, becomes so receptive to the breathings of spirit, that the early morning chill can sometimes become a bit too much: I’m forced to retreat indoors and grab a blanket, sweatshirt, hat (or all three!) before heading back outdoors into the sacredness of communion … when the world is recreated and my spirit made new at the break of day, my soul ever more firmly embedded within the warmth, light, and strength of true understanding.
And what, exactly, is this truth? I understand the dawn chill as nothing less than the miracle of the Holy Spirit, that breeze which blows through the heart of creation the most great spiritual energies in this, the divine springtime of a new era … when the whole world entered within the process of transformation — from the separations and conflicts which characterize society, today, into the material prosperity and spiritual peace that gradually will come to fruition, over the course of generations, from our open acknowledgement, acceptance, and embrace of the most fundamental spiritual truth of our time: that the whole of humankind is one people, one race, yes, one extended family. This transformation is now underway, here and now — as more and more of us come to understand this greatest of spiritual realities, and as gradually more engage in the process of learning, through acts of service, how to translate this most foundational spiritual truth, the “Oneness of Humanity”, into our personal lives and the life of society:
“[I]n the day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts, and at the epoch of the divine cycle of the Omnipotent which is promised and mentioned in all the books and writings of the Prophets — in that day of God, the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established, and the world will be renewed; a new spirit will be breathed into the body of creation; the season of divine spring will come; the clouds of mercy will rain; the sun of reality will shine; the life-giving breeze will blow; the world of humanity will wear a new garment; the surface of the earth will be a sublime paradise; mankind will be educated; wards, disputes, quarrels and malignity will disappear; and truthfulness, righteousness, peace and the worship of God will appear; union, love, brotherhood will surround the world; and God will rule for evermore — meaning that the Spiritual and Everlasting Kingdom will be established. Such is the day of God….”
It’s true, “the life-giving breeze will blow….” May these breezes, please God, help to revive and refresh the spirit within you and all of us, the whole of humanity.
How will society be transformed, in this new day — from darkness to light — the darkness of division to the light of unity? What role do we play in this greatest of transformations, to universal peace? My heart and yours, transformed, now become channels for the divine breezes of spiritual truth to flow … outward into the world, elevating the open and receptive to this higher plane of existence, inspiring greater numbers to actively participate in the process of unifying humanity, the primary necessity for civilization to progress. Having been resuscitated, renewed, by the spirit of this morning’s divine breeze, I am now instructed, by the Will of God, to become a healing wind of new life to this sick and ailing world…
“Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break. Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, blows upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate. Neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it. It blows in every direction, as bidden by its Creator. So should be every one that claimed to be a lover of the one true God. It behooveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer. He who shall accept and believe, shall receive his reward….”
This most fundamental reality, the Truth for the here and now, is that all of humanity is — in point of fact — one extended human family. And so, I pray: Once the chill of this dawn breeze has passed through our hearts, our spirits will in word and deed, one and all, be inspired by these Holy Words … to “breathe a soul into the dead body of this world."
“The gentle breezes wafted from the garden of their hearts shall perfume
and revive the souls of men, and the revelations of their minds, even as showers,
will reinvigorate the peoples and nations of the world.”