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Spring Is a Feeling

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Stephen in Warrior Pose on Easter morning at Buckfast Abbey

Here I am in Warrior Pose, reverse prayer hands tip toe variation, from my Easter retreat to Buckfast Abbey, at sunrise on Easter morning. The usual front leg position for warrior is a 90°, maximising the stability and stretch. If you lift your front knee in tip toe variation, you can deepen the thigh stretch creating a straight line with the back leg. One of the poignant pleasures of living on our planet, are the natural transformations that each season brings. At springtime you can literally feel the sap rising everywhere, the natural world rising with new hope and vitality, beautiful flowers suddenly breaking through the earth, encouraging us to have another go. The Christian Easter story is really an extension of this natural process, extrapolated into the spiritual world, with the promise that when our body enters its wintertime, our soul will spring back to life. The pathway to the supernatural is through the natural, rather than the mechanical, just as the pathway to the soul is through the body, rather than around it. Buckfast Abbey was rebuilt at the turn of the 20th Century, by a few inspired monks, on the 12thCentury map of the Abbey, which was originally founded in 1018 AD, before the Norman invasion. At that time, Christianity regularly referenced divine presence in nature and through the body, but with the growth of science, and a mechanical view of the universe, the natural world was ceded increasingly to science and theologians tended to talk more about God beyond things rather than within them. St. Thomas Aquinas, who lived in the 13th Century, famously said God is ‘being itself’, at the heart of all things, not just people, and St. Francis famously celebrated Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Nature is continually rising beyond the next horizon, and the angels of our supernature can surf that wave, beyond the body, beyond the mind, into the heart of being.

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