The “Living of Summer”


The “Living of Summer”    

It is interesting how fast the wildflowers come and go.  They are like waves of color that wash up on the shore and then melt into the sand and fade from view.  Sometimes it is just days.  Sometimes, like with the wild roses that are just done now, it takes a couple of weeks.  That’s one of the reasons why I am partial to chicory.  The bright blue flowers open up and turn toward the east to greet each sunny morning, and they will do so pretty much from now into late September.  This morning the few that escaped the recent town ditch mower started blooming.

Chicory is resilient.  By the end of the week, they will quickly regrow from the mower’s temporary clipping and they will line both sides of the town roads.  They bloom “Mary blue”, and so when I look down a long straight stretch of road, I like to think of Mary reaching out in the invitation of embrace.  It’s a great contemplative image as I pray my rosary while walking down these country roads. 

Now that the chicory is here, soon to be joined by Queen Anne’s Lace, we are in full summer.  People, I think, tend to be pessimists.  We tend to complain.  We tend to look at the gloomy side of life.  Our language of the seasons captures this aspect of our nature.  In January and February, we talk about being in the “dead of winter”.  Shouldn’t we also talk then about being in the “living of summer” in July and August?  Life is literally bursting out all around us these days.

Christians are called to be people of joy.  Joy is resilient.  Happiness washes up on the shores of our life, but then it can quickly disappear into the sands of circumstance and fade away.  Joy is more like a river.  Rivers keep flowing.  Even when they are rain-starved and reduced to a trickle; that trickle still sounds like birdsong.  Rivers do sing as they go along their way – rushing over the rocks of our resistance.  The best of rivers, in my opinion, run cool and clear.  We are blessed in Wisconsin to have so many of them.  Our state’s name comes from the first peoples who called it “the gathering of the waters”.  The music of the river nurtures hope.  Hope and Joy are eternal lovers.  This is why Jesus described himself as “the living water come down from Heaven”. 

If you live in town or a city where the roadsides are concrete sidewalks, or narrow terraces of perpetually mowed grass, take a drive down a country road in the coming weeks. Take your drive first thing in the morning as the sun breaks free of the horizon.  If possible, pull over to the side and park.  Get out and walk, even if only for a few minutes.  Enjoy the butterflies and bees moving from blossom to blossom.  Hear the meadowlark sing morning.  Enjoy the “Mary blue” that lines the road.  Pray.  You don’t need words beyond having awareness and appreciation for being in this very morning, this morning - today.  Feel hopeful.  Feel joyful. 

Then go have breakfast.  Whatever you have will taste delicious.  If you drink coffee, fill your cup a second time.  You’re in no hurry.  Relax.  We are in “the living of summer”.

His Peace <><

Deacon Dan

Photo by Free Nomad on Unsplash