Have you noticed autumn sneaking up slowly and surprising us?
I’ve seen a few leaves on a nearby cottonwood tree turning yellow. The squirrels seem to be extra busy as they gather nuts. We’ve even had a couple cool days with a refreshing breeze that requires a light jacket.
A sprinkle of autumn is in the air and will arrive in its full glory not long from now.
One of Hildegard’s valuable contributions is her idea of Viriditas. Translated as “greening power,” Viriditas can be described as the divine life force that lives and breathes within all living beings. This potent force is full of vitality, moisture, and fecundity, able to bring creativity and healthy abundance into the world. It makes all things grow, expand, and thrive.We experience it in the dynamic growth of plants in nature as well as our own sense of health.
As the summer gently comes to a close and autumn is on the horizon, Mother Nature gives the final gifts of the season in the abundant harvest we gather at this time – the fruits of the greening power of summer.
Celebrate these fruits with the one of St. Hildegard’s songs, O Viridissima Virga. Here I share the English translation.
O VIRIDISSIMA VIRGA (O Greenest Branch)
Hail, O greenest branch!
You came forth in the windy blast
of the questioning of saints.
When the time came
for you to blossom in your branches,
“hail” was the word to you,
for the heat of the sun distilled in you
a fragrance like balsam.
For in you bloomed the beautiful flower
that gave fragrance
to all the spices
that had grown dry.
And they all appeared
in full verdure.
So the skies rained dew on the grass
and the whole earth exulted,
for her womb brought forth wheat,
and the birds of heaven
made their nests in it.
Then food was prepared for humans
and great joy for the banqueters.
So, in you, sweet Virgin,
no joy ever fails.
Have no fear!
Praise be to the Most High.
I invite you to take a moment to listen to a version of this song in the original Latin which I recorded with Gary Grundei. Soak in the lush, expansive instrumental with the heart warming and soaring vocals. This song is a “stress buster”, the perfect song to listen to at the end of a challenging day.
Get in a comfortable position, take a few deep breaths, then close your eyes and just let the music wash over you.
Picture yourself becoming the “greenest of branches.” With a flower that blooms and then becomes a fruit. Picture the color and size of the blossom and then the fruit.
What does it smell like?
How does it feel when touched?
What is its taste?
Picture what “flower” bloomed within you recently and is now a fragrant and juicy “fruit” or gift ready to be offered to others? What joy do these fruits in your life bring to you?