For the Beauty of the Earth
Spring has sprung in my corner of the world!
We’ve had a brutal winter and so seeing 60ºF (and up!) in the forecast makes me incredibly happy. I love seeing all the flowers. I love seeing happy faces out on the street, smiling for no other reason than warm weather has finally arrived. I find myself joyful, even more so when I’m with friends. Spring is just a happy and optimistic time of the year.
As you might have guessed, springtime brings to mind the Christian hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth.
“For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies…”
It’s a short and simple hymn that only expresses joy and gratitude for this wonderful earth we live on and for all the love found in it.
For all the fear, hatred, war, and contention that we all see each day on the news and around us, I think it is also important to remember all the good. For every contentious encounter I have, I remember all the warm and healthy relationships I have; for all my patriarchal frustrations within the Church, I remind myself of the beautiful doctrines that brought me to the faith in the first place.
In that vein, spring time is also a time for new beginnings (which I much rather prefer than New Years’ Resolutions!).
This past year has been a rough one for me and feminism and the Church. My testimony, though strong, is at its basic level–– my recommend expires in seven days and I have no plans to renew it, nor do I plan on paying tithing (wedding season is coming up, however, so I may have to revisit this topic….). I get frustrated with the inequality and misplaced priorities that plague the LDS Church, among other things. At the same time, I find myself longingly looking at pictures of my happy Mormon friends who just seem to make things work. I want that fresh belief and happiness I had when I was first baptized five years ago. I want my Mormon experience to be somewhat of a source of happiness, not one of pain as it has been recently.
So, with spring finally here, I want to start a new beginning. Though I still attend Episcopal services for my “sacrament meeting”, I committed myself to attending the other two hours of the Sunday block right after. Additionally, I will go to as many YSA activities as reasonable for me and my schedule. I will read my scriptures more often than I already do. I won’t accept a calling, but I will help out in my branch. I decided that I’m open to giving a talk, if asked.
And those are just my religious beginnings! I’m still developing my secular goals for this spring season, but I figured it was better to start somewhere.
“For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.”
In this season of new beginnings, where flowers are in full bloom and the gathering of friends together has become commonplace, I am full of gratitude for all “the joy of human love” I see around me. New season, new beginnings–– I’m going to try to make this work and see the beauty everywhere. And not just seek for the beauty inside the Church, but all around me as well.
What does springtime look like in your area?
What are some of new beginnings you hope to make?