Spirit Cannot Be Imprisoned

Spirit Cannot Be Imprisoned ©Lynne Buchanan

Yellow Iris Emerging ©Lynne Buchanan

Last Easter my beautiful golden retriever, Kaylie, was dying.  She had cancer and I did not know it.  I went to the Easter Sunrise Service in my small town seeking solace and strength.  She passed on in my arms with my eldest son by my side.  In tribute to her beautiful spirit, I am writing this blog.

Yesterday, I went with my new beautiful spirit and Labradoodle, Takoda, which means friend to all, to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens to see the spring flowers.  It was walking with Kaylie in nature and discovering beautiful blossoms and other miracles of nature that I first found God/a higher power/the bigger energy or whatever you care to name it.  The name is not important.  As Matthew Fox says, God, or this spiritual immanence is so much bigger than that.  Just as there is not one way, there is not one name. Though spirit cannot be quantified or labeled or put in a box, it does not mean that ithe spiritual dimension has been stamped out. Try as our society might to banish spirituality from this world and operate on the basis of selfish greed, there is still something larger than all of us and when we open to these mysteries, so much is set free and the basis for true healing of ourselves and the planet can begin.

Though I believe there is hope and refuse to give up, no matter how dire the situation has become in my home State, in the Nation and the World at large, I believe it is time for us all to stand strong and peacefully join hands to show the unity of our desire to topple the old systems in power, which serve only the materialistic desires of a few wealthy individuals and corporations and do not serve the people or the environment they are entrusted with safeguarding.

In Florida, our supposed representatives refuse to ban fracking, they won't use the funds the people voted for to buy land and send the water south, they won't protect our rivers sufficiently from nitrogen and they allow too much water to be taken from these waterways and are draining the aquifer.  These problems are occurring around the country.  I know.  I have hiked to glaciers and followed rivers to where they have totally dried up and seen with my own eyes.  There are sinkholes all over North Florida and the entire State is built on limestone which is highly susceptible to saltwater intrusion and not very stable.  How in heaven's name is the earth supposed to withstand fracking here?  And can we honestly allow anymore toxins into our water?

Since I began my work with water, I have become a spiritual environmentalist who gives voice to the elements through my art and writing.  Here is the rub, as I see it.  I do not know of any truly spiritual person who does not believe that we are entrusted with caring for our planet.  Yet, many of these same people only believe in helping the planet by sending positive thoughts and positive energy. While I totally agree that this is essential and that we must heal ourselves and change society before any lasting reforms will stick, I have come to understand that we do have to engage in this broken world including voicing our objections to the status quo.

For years, I have considered myself apolitical.  I have not gone so far as to fail to vote, but other than going to the polls, I have basically closed my eyes and ears to what is going on.  It was just too depressing and hopeless, I thought.  The water issue in Florida and across the world is changing that for me.  This year, I attended two protests for the first time.  After the rally in Tallahassee to try and get political leaders to use the funds for Amendment I as promised, I met the lobbyist for the Sierra Club.  I thanked him for all he did and apologetically said I was apolitical.  He told me I should realize that if I took that stand I was basically giving the politicians in power cart blanche to make decisions for me.  I had spoken to many that day, and I can tell you abdicating my voice to these people is something I cannot in good conscience do any longer.

For spiritually motivated people, it goes against our grain to become angry, violent activists, which only serves to close the ears and minds of those whose opinions you want to change.  However, this does not mean we should throw up our hands and just think nice thoughts.  I believe our intentions do create the reality we want, but unfortunately, right now, there are a few people who are exercising so much power over the planet and they must be stopped somehow.  No matter how many of us see them in divine light as stepping out of ignorance and into caring for this entire interconnected web of life we inhabit, it does not seem to be happening.  Many of our political leaders and corporate moguls seem not to care what they do to the elements in the pursuit of wealth.  Some even think water is not a human right and that it is just another commodity that can be bought and sold for a profit at the expense of human lives.  This is not a world that I care to inhabit.

The spirit of life cannot be imprisoned.  No matter how many destructive acts we allow like fracking, no matter how many carcinogens we dump in the water, the earth keeps trying to heal itself and flowers keep trying to bloom.   The spirit of life and love and cooperation will rise again, and it will rise more quickly if we stand in unity and make our voices heard speaking from the deepest love in our hearts for the earth, our mother.