“Linden Tree Seeds and Wind”, by Jacqueline Perry, linocut print, 2012
From A Field Guide to Nature as Spiritual Practice, Steven Chase invites the reader to find a small object in nature and take it home as a form of prayer. Bring mind, heart, and soul to reflect on how the tiny object reflects “the goodness of God”.
Because of the drought here in Illinois, trees have started to drop their leaves. Walking through the woods this week felt more like September than July. “How can a drought reflect God’s goodness?”, I wondered.
From high above, one twirling dry leaf dropped down in my direction like a tiny helicopter. I held out my hand to catch the winged seeds that looked like small wooden peas. I learned that these are Linden tree seeds.
I also picked up a dry weed that had grassy spokes. Tiny seed pods lined each spoke. The wind had blown the slender stalk into a yard.
After I brought the objects home, I placed them on a dresser to think about later. I slipped the grassy weed stalk in a container and layed the Linden leaf at the center of the dresser.
That evening, I turned the ceiling fan on in the bedroom and to my surprise the ‘weeds’ started to dance! The grassy stalk twirled back and forth. The Linden leaf and seeds, had reached the edge of the dresser. They were designed to respond to the wind.
The Hebrew word, ‘ruah’ means wind, and may also refer to God’s breath, life, or spirit. We are designed to respond to the Spirit of Life, and when we do we dance. This is how the tiny objects reflect the goodness of God to me.