Recently, I complemented a friend on discovering a new area of self-awareness saying: “You’ve found the green edge.” It was a new phrase to some, so I added “It’s where the growth is expanding. Maybe like the rings on a tree with the outer ring being formed at the green edge.”
St. Hildegard of Bingen, an amazing 12th Century Mystic, responded to the question “Can we see God’s vigor (presence) in the world around us?” by referring to Ps 19:
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
She wrote in Latin and “vigor” is a translation of her term ‘viriditas’ literally meaning ‘greenness.’ She used it often to express her dynamic view of God’s loving presence that fills all of creation with beauty, vitality and a drive for growth and renewal. She notes that surely “greenness” characterized the garden Eden and that it is present in the green of every leaf and twig revealing the divine love that animates the growing edge of every person and creature.
Our “green edge” is where we are being invited to step out of our comfort zone in faith to find the possibilities that lie outside our perceived or real limitations. The “green edge” is where we find the creative power of love drawing us forward into the risk of being authentic, vulnerable and healed of that which limits us. Without “greening” the opposite experience was drying up, decaying and dying.
O most honored Greening Force,
You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.
You are enfolded
in the weaving of divine mysteries.
You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.
– Hildegard von Bingen