(My new book, Return to the Root, is due out in October. The following contains some
excerpts from the “Introduction.”)

If you pull up a plant in the garden, dig out a dandelion in the lawn, or find a shrub
uprooted by a fierce wind, you will notice that each has a central, anchoring support system
called a taproot from which other smaller roots develop. Taproots provide stability,
nourishment and growth. When the poet Rumi encourages returning ‘to the root of the root
of the Self,” he refers to our spiritual taproot, the core of our very being, the dwelling place
of divinity, the central source of goodness that grounds our existence.

I first came across Rumi’s poem in Living Presence where the Sufi teacher, Kabir Helminski,
writes about “the essential Self” as an image of wholeness. From my perspective, this
essential Self that Rumi encourages us to join consists of the abiding love reflected in the
heart of Christ, a divine wisdom residing at the core of every being. I mostly come to know
this essential Self through the many forms of goodness that arrive to inform my life and
shape its identity.

For a long time now I have attended to this presence, this rootedness that sustains my
reason for being. Endless work-oriented activity, unwanted disturbances, and a zillion
attractive distractions cause me to disregard or forget about this source of love existing at
the center of my creatureliness. Even so, time and again I am drawn back to this divine
taproot. This return comes mostly through ordinary events and experiences. Sometimes I
am deliberate about awakening and returning to this core of love. At other times I bump
into a restored connection without any effort at all.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul encourages the early Christians to be strengthened in
their “inner self” through Christ’s Spirit, that they may be “rooted and grounded in love.”
This inner self grounded in love can be likened to Rumi’s imagery of the self held fast by the
divine root. (Eph3:16-17) The wise English mystic, Evelyn Underhill, recognized and
encouraged this relatedness: “We know a thing only by uniting with it; by assimilating it; by
an interpenetration of it and ourselves. It gives itself to us, just in so far as we give
ourselves to it.” (Evelyn Underhill: Essential Writings)

Here is a blessing to wrap around you like the wings of a mother swan enfolding her
beloved cygnets within the warmth and shelter of her welcome.

May you be rooted and grounded in enduring love.
May you trust this essential core of goodness within you.
May you choose to be nurtured through times of stillness.
May this root of divinity strengthen and support you.
May you discover inner peace to carry you through travails.
May you return time and again to the Taproot of your life.

Abundant peace,
Joyce Rupp