Spiritual literacy enables us to re-enchant the world. With this perspective we come to a fresh appreciation of the wonders of nature and rejoice in the spiritual nourishment she so often provides. We may also find ourselves identifying with the Earth and feeling her pain.
Joyce Rupp, a member of the Servite community and the author of more than ten bestselling books, is a deeply spiritual writer and retreat leader who opens our hearts, minds, and senses to the beauty and majesty of the natural world. This enthralling collection of essays and poems is enhanced by the full-color art of Mary Southard, creator of the Earth Calendar. Both would agree with Kabir, the fifteenth century spiritual master, who said, "When the eyes and ears are open, even the leaves of the trees teach like pages from the scriptures."
At the outset, Rupp delineates the three epiphanies that are central to her celebration of the ties that bind her to the Earth and all of its inhabitants. She sees herself as made of stardust, "that every part and parcel of who I am materially was once a piece of a star shining in the heavens." Second, she feels linked to all people, animals, and plants that have breathed the same air as it has circled the globe. And third, she is convinced she is "part of a vast and marvelous dance that goes on unceasingly at every moment in the most minute particles of the universe."
Rupp was raised on an Iowa farm and tutored by her parents in the arts of attending to nature and animals with openness and wonder. This training has served her well. With natural ease and abundant enthusiasm, the author takes our hands and leads us on to the dance floor where we can swing and sway to "the melody of the cosmic dance." Rupp's fine poetry and supple prose, along with Southard's fluid art, emphasize the kinship of all creation. Here is a convincing portrait of Gaia's bounty, dignity, elegance, and wisdom.
Reading these paeans to trees, sky, stones, wind, rain, birds, and humankind, you will shout words of praise. We were reminded of Teilhard de Chardin's observation: "We are all of us together carried in the one world-womb." Put on your dancing shoes and come celebrate with Rupp and Southard the mystical connections that enrich our every moment.