Today, we celebrate the world of the plants. Plants have something in common with us humans, and that is a life force. Something that is living within us, that makes us the individual we are.
If we think back to the mineral kingdom for a minute, we can see minerals to be pure physicality. Where once there would have been a life force (eg the light that is now trapped in a crystal, the remnants of plant and animal life trapped to form the layers of sediment), now the minerals are like a person who has died. We have all heard about (or maybe we ourselves have experienced this) the person who visits their Grandmother or another family member, minutes after their passing and states “oh, Grandma is not here now. She is gone, and only her body remains”. It is this ‘immeasurable quality’ that is the life force. We might call it soul.
So this week, we celebrate the living quality of the plant kingdom and hold this world in high esteem. Not only do the plants help to support and protect our planet, they support and protect us through breathing in our ‘carbon’ and filtering the very air we breathe.
We also acknowledge the element of Water, which have so much connection with worldly rhythms and developmental processes. Rhythm is the thing that holds this world together. Plants remember this, and grow or decay as part of their living cycle.
We might represent this on our Nature table with a few pine cones to represent the first Christmas tree (remembering that the Christmas tree spruce pine is a symbol of the earth pointing up to meet the heavens), a dried or living flower arrangement, hay on the floor of the barn or in the crib that awaits or some water in the animals “drinking tub” in preparation for their arrival next week.
On our advent wreath today, we light both the first and second candles.
The second candle represents ‘the way’ and is a symbol of our light that is sent out into the darkness to help mankind.
Here is a nice little recipe, reminding us of the plant world and the abundant gifts they give us all year around, but especially in the summer time. It may be your Advent treat today: (and will keep you regular!)
Banana and Mango smoothie
Ingredients: (to make two)
One large banana (mashed)
Two cheeks of a ripe mango (fruit cut into small pieces, skin discarded)
1 and 1/2 cup of rice milk (dairy or soy substitute is ok)
1 tablespoon of LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond mix)
1 tablespoon coldpressed flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon psyillium husks
3 dates (finely chopped)
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt
6 pieces of ice (optional)
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend for 30 seconds on high.
Serve in a chilled glass with a decorative summer straw!