Dear Parishioners & Friends,
Incredibly, we have passed the Summer Solstice, so by any Northern Hemispherical reckoning, we are in summer; with Winter, one of the two “Blatant” Seasons—while Spring and Fall are more “Subtle” Ones. And while Summer conditions can be oppressive at their extreme, on more moderate days this can be the best of Seasons for being fully “in-the moment”; or, in a more traditional vocabulary, fully “contemplative.”
Gaze across hundreds of acres of corn that will be “knee high by the 4th of July” – and try to imagine the thousands upon thousands of ears of God’s generosity.
Gaze upward (this is Summer, you don’t have to worry about a chilling breeze!) as some of our local and enormous birds waft by….suspended…spiraling… slip-streaming along unseen winds…and thank God for these images of created effortlessness…
Seek out your own favorite Summer images; and try to practice taking them in…just one instant at a time…
A moment seen with new eyes…that is the every-instant reality of the small, wonder-filled, child…and it is what Haiku poets hope to share in that short form. Those of you who know that I have a special attachment to that Biblical occasion when God, at the Burning Bush, told Moses, “Put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground!” – well, you won’t be surprised that I savored this Seasonal Haiku:
Crossing this summer river,
Sandals in hand!
If you further happen to know that I harbor the vacation-fantasy of going up to the headwaters of the Mississippi, where one can, indeed, and on foot, and without the need of a Water-Walking Miracle, cross what there begins to be that mighty river…well, there’s something to pause and contemplate, too. A Western poet, too, caught in this small web of words the attitude of Sweet Summer, saying to God:
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.
May our Lord Himself, depicted in an Eastern icon as “The Angel of Great Silence,” provide you with many, memorable “still” and Summer moments.
With Love in Christ ~ Fr. Dean M. Smith