Thursday, August 19, 2010

As Summer Ebbs To The Past

Yesterday, I woke to the sound of acorns loudly falling upon the skylights in our bedroom.

The acorns are dropping early because of the dry weather we have had this Summer.

Today, I woke to the sound of our geese beginning to migrate for the winter.

As I walked to my office, enjoying the beauty of the day, I felt an internal acceptance of the reality that Summer is nearing its end, but promises to return, with or without us.

This was a particularly blessed Summer for me, complete with new and wonder filled memories.

Our memories of Summer are often intense because it is a season blessed with a vividness unsurpassed by any other time of year. Our senses are delighted by bright colors, fresh scents, vibrant flavors, brilliant sunlight, and the warm caress of the Summer Sun.

There is a particular sumptuousness about Summertime, as both flora and fauna come into their own, regaling us with natural beauty.

Our day-to-day circumstances may not change as seasons change, yet we nonetheless feel refreshed.

Particularly during Summer, our burdens seem lighter, and we feel compelled to play, to travel, to relax, and to experience all of life's joys to their full extent during our extended sunlit hours.

Frank & I did all of that this Summer, and this has probably been the best Summer of our lives, but there is so much more that we would like to have done.

Rituals specific to the Summer season empower us to attune ourselves to the changes that take place in nature as well as within ourselves as the weather grows warmer.

They prepare us for what lies ahead and, if we allow ourselves, we can absorb the beauties that each season holds and bask in those moments, as well as look forward to the next season with fond memories of the past season, and anticipation of the next.

Some Summertime rituals are remnants of past traditions we have unconsciously preserved through practice as children. There are barbecues, tomato picking, swimming, laying out in the sun, afternoon naps, listening to the chirping of crickets and tree frogs, picnics, slow evening walks gazing at the heavens above and many others we can add and smile warmly as we recall them.

Some of these rituals can be incorporated into our lives whenever we feel the need to experience Summer's significance. As a dear friend of mine taught me, we can store these times and mine them as we require their resources.

I have a favorite photo of me barbecuing outside in 2 feet of snow and another of the indoor pool, where my office is, where the windows had 4 foot tall snowdrifts one year.

My Summer never really ends ... at least not in my heart.

Summer is, at its core, a season of light.

God grants us long days of sunshine and great warmth, allowing the beauties of Creation to flourish, thrive, and put forth their fruits.

By opening ourselves and our spaces to this light, we honor all the joy associated with the season.

As Summer approached, we unbolted our windows and doors, arranged bright-golden blooms in planter pots and vases, furnished our patios with comfortable and conversational seatings, prepared places for birds to feed, and soaked in as much of the warmth as possible while turning our faces toward the sun, all of which is a prayer of celebration when done with intent.

Summer is a wonderful time to practice focused listening, as the air is filled with beautiful sounds particular to the season, the buzzing of bees, children's laughter, birdsongs, or the gentle sound of a breeze lifting the leaves of our trees.

Those beautiful sounds stay with us throughout the cold, harsh months of Winter.

Thoughts of Summer evoke numerous pleasant images in our minds. However, if what we envision seems little more than a piece of our distant past once the season has changed, we can reacquaint ourselves with the joys of Summertime by immersing ourselves in its pleasures.

Wake up with the sunrise, take a day trip to the beach, indulge in an ice cream cone, or simply sit quietly in nature's embrace.

Many years ago, we held a beach party in our loft at home in the dead of Winter.

We cranked up the wood stove, furnished the loft with beach chairs, dressed in swim suits, and invited our friends to join us in their beachwear.

Seasons pass quickly, but while we cling to the final embraces of Summer, we can revel in the richness of life and renew ourselves in the wonder of the light.

With love, light, and a Summer breeze in your heart,


Sunday, August 15, 2010


It rained the other day.

This may not seem to be an event worthy of reflecting upon, but we have had very little rain this Summer.

So, much of our time is spent tending to our tomato plants, watering them early in the morning before the scorching Sun hits and in the evening once the heat has ebbed.

It's fascinating to see what the results are the following day.

We water the gardens and while we sleep the thankfully reward us with delicious tomatos.

Last Summer we had too much rain and our little tomato crop suffered greatly.

So did we.

This year, there has been an abundance of tomatos, allowing us the gift of being able to share our tasty blessings with others and to brew up lots of sauce for the freezer, giving us the comfort of Summer memories during the harsh Winter months which lie in wait ahead.

Walking past the gardens, the little cherry and grape tomatos are like candy, rich with freshness.

I needed to harvest these little candies on the day it was raining before we went away for the weekend.

I love the rain.

There are times when we might feel the need to wash away all of our troubles and call forth freshness into our lives.

Since the most cleansing substance on this earth is probably water, we can think of the joy rain brings as an energetic bath, rejuvenating our minds, bodies, and souls.

Just being able to spend a few moments every time it rains to become aware of the healing powers water brings to us can renew us in so many ways.

As we do this we will find that the more we appreciate God's gift to us in the form of rain.

We can then see that a gentle rain shower is a strong reflective tool that has the ability to cleanse our entire being.

The next time it rains might be a good chance for us to experience the rain through all of our senses, allowing us to truly understand the importance of each and every drop of water.

Take a few minutes to look outside and notice how each individual raindrop seems to come down in a continual stream.

By noticing this we can contemplate how it takes many small accomplishments to create the whole of our existence, for nothing exists in isolation.

We might wish to focus our attention on the sound of the rainfall, letting the sounds of drops penetrate into the innermost recesses of our selves.

Listening in this way may bring us a greater sense of connection with nature and the world around us, knowing that the sounds we hear are an integral part of not just the physical sustenance we require but that they also nourish our spirit.

Consciously using our senses to feel nature’s healing energy as it comes to us in the form of rain is an act of internal cleansing.

Just as the rain physically washes over the earth and rinses out any impurities and imperfections, it also bathes our spirit in the joy that comes from knowing that we are one with the world around us.

With love, and wishing you rainbows,