Breeze That Nourishes All Things Green
"I am the Breeze that nourishes all things green." (Spirit Song, Hildegard of Bingen)
Our ability to delight in little things has as much to do with solving the environmental crisis as the regulation of industry or the introduction of new technologies.
Let us widen our capacity for the small. When we nurture the heart's joy, the mind is quiet enough to find sacraments in the ordinary -- a breath of wind on our cheek, the sound of raindrops, the taste of a locally grown strawberry. This will diminish our consumption of earth's resources as much as any restriction imposed by government. The capacity for small delights is the fruit of an inward spiritual practice that is essential for sustainable living.
Green is the color of the abundant heart, the heart of contentment. When the heart is green, the mind does not grasp for the wealth of the world.
Our environmental crisis is a spiritual crisis. We consume our earth, desecrate wilderness, and make war on nations to fill our tanks with energy. But the tank that must first be filled is the soul. Most wealthy Americans suffer a secret fever of lack. Beneath our designer labels, make-up and cologne is the physiognomy of enervation, stress, and drain. Conspicuous consumption is only a symptom.
Environmental activism is nourished by inner stillness. A renewal of contemplative spirituality is crucial to the environmental movement. Through daily meditation, the green activist charges her soul with Inward Light. The Inward Light is a green radiance. Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th Century mystic and prophet, called it "the greening power of the Holy Spirit."
Only as we taste the wild green radiance of the Spirit will we cease devouring the earth. Only when simple necessities become sacraments rather than disciplines, can we live in harmony with bees, salmon streams, ancient forests. To be content with less is not a virtue imposed by looming disaster, but the dividend of meditation in a heart overflowing.