Archive for the ‘spring’ tag
Today’s image was taken at Hong Mei Park here in ChangZhou, China. The plum blossom is one of the symbols of the Chinese New Year, a symbol of new life. As one site notes about these plum blossoms: “The plum blossoms burst forth at the end of winter on seemingly lifeless branches. They stand for courage and hope.” As I walked through the park, fittingly named Red Plum Park (Hong Mei Gong Yuan), the thousands of plum trees were in various stages of coming to life with red, pink and white blossoms. The park was busy with people and their cameras. For me, the visual symbol of China is a scene which features leafless branches alive with vivid red plum blossoms. I have this scene displayed on my living room wall, the only art work I have bought in China. The walk through the park was enjoyable because of the blossoms and also because of the hint of warmth to come. I left the park knowing that in a few more weeks, when warmer weather arrives, I will return to take more photos and to relax and sit still with the warmth and the scenes.
It’s interesting to see how I am responding to the symbols of hope and courage. There is a lightness of spirit, a lifting of shadows with the approach of spring. I see this lightening of spirit happening to those in my life as well as to the world at large. What is happening around the globe, whether in Egypt or Libya or Wisconscin, U.S.A., is a surge of hope and demonstrations of courage. The darkness hasn’t disappeared, but the flames have been rekindled to lift depression.
Thankfully, this isn’t a recent photo, but one from almost two weeks ago upon my return to Canada. I went looking for this photo as it was one that I felt needed to appear here. Looking out my window the sunrise is applying a light coat of golden paint to the fields and the few buildings that I can see, a huge contrast to this scene. Yet this is the scene that my head is experiencing in spite of what my eyes see.
I have seasonal allergies and they are now raging. Snow mold on the now exposed grass and dead leaves aren’t nice to me, neither are the constant dry and dusty winds. The poplar trees are beginning to show new leaf buds and that will make the situation worse in short order. Of course, like any normal person, I take appropriate medical aids to make the allergies more bearable but they only add a fog and lethargy as they do their thing in allowing me to breath easier. I say all of this, not to garner any sympathy (I get enough of that at home), but in order to contrast and inner and outer world. Though we often think of the mind as separate from the body, both are intricately linked and affect each other. Think of the yin-yang symbol where opposites are constrained tightly together yet maintaining their unique separateness within the container.
All of this is to serve as an intro to my thoughts of the next book, Through a Jungian Lens: Sol and Luna, which will be this year’s project for SoFoBoMo. I have chosen to focus on Jung’s essay, “The Personification of Opposites” from volume 14 of the Collected Works, Mysterium Coniunctionis. I plan on taking the photos and writing the text likely starting on June 12th, the date of the first full moon during the two month “fuzzy month” for the SoFoBoMo project. And, like last year, I expect that I will bring much of that stuff here in my posts. Other than the topic and the ideas from CG Jung, nothing is yet decided.
So, in spite of my allergies, I am still able to focus enough to find my way down my particular path. Tomorrow’s post will likely return to its usual, more reflective nature.
I am back in Canada, back on the Canadian Prairies. When I left on January 1st, it was -30C. It was a white and blue world. Now, temperatures are in the mid-teens and faint shades of green are showing through the burnt grasses. If all works out, I will find my way to the golf course in a few days. Of course, I will again take my camera in hopes of capturing more spring scenes such as this one taken last year in April.
The world of Costa Rica has been left far behind and the world is again different. I am as yet, unsure of what this difference will mean to me. The changes in myself, in my spouse and in the rest of the world will call for me to be present in a different manner. The best I can do is to keep my eyes, heart and mind open to what these changes have to offer.
This is the problem and the beauty of every spring. New life, changes, hope. Out of the skeletons of the dead, out of the burnt ashes, new life arises.
There are no quotes today. Rather, I encourage you to go outside and search for your personal quotes in some sign of spring. Find this symbol and allow it to speak to you. Then, when you have heard, seen and felt, allow yourself to resonate and accept your changes.
Yesterday I took my camera with me when I went for my first round of golf for this new season. There was no evidence of green yet in the semi-desert hills at the golf course. The only signs of spring were a few clumps of crocus plants and open water on the river-lake. In spite of the browns and the golds and the grays, the prairie crocus speaks of hope, of promise that life does arise out of the darkness of winter. All of this is a gift of the sun, the warmth of the sun, the regenerative power of the sun. As Jung states:
Sol in alchemy is much less a definite chemical substance than a “virtus,” a mysterious power believed to have a generative and transformative effect. Just as the physical sun lightens and warms the universe, so, in the human body, there is in the heart a sunlike arcanum from which life and warmth stream forth. (CW vol. 7, “The Personification of Opposites”, paragraph 113)
Symbols. The crocus is a symbol of rebirth, of spring, of hope, of a coming warmth. As well, spring is about change and transformation – nothing will be the same. Transformation is about moving forward, becoming more conscious, more aware as we move out of the darkness and the cold.