These are the days of ease, when the air is warm and offers a hospitable breeze, when the light comes early in the day and lingers long.
Now is the time for strolling over the hills in contemplation, if only in your mind, for tallying the abundance your life holds, for opening yourself to possibilities.
Here, in summer’s fullness, nothing bars your imagination from soaring or your heart from singing its true song.
Take off your shoes and feel the earth beneath your feet. It is summer, and this is holy ground.
Some things only summer can do: The fresh blossoming of Queen Anne’s Lace, grasses gone to seed, certain clovers. The banks of the ponds are lush with living artistry. Tables overflow with the garden’s gems.
Let your eyes gather in the colors. Inhale the scents. Feel the moisture of the air on warmed skin.
Only once in a year do these miracles appear, and never more fully than today. Take them in. Tuck them into your memory. Write them on your heart. Breathe thanks.
The garden’s whole purpose, she told me, was to nurture the butterflies. So many were losing their food supplies and dying out. So here was bee balm, Echinacea, milk weed and other butterfly delights, just to let them know that they mattered, they some of us cared.
No matter what the problem, someone, somewhere, cares and lifts a hand, plants a seed, takes a step, calls for help, looks for a solution.
Nothing is ever lost. No one is ever forsaken. Beyond appearances a web of love supports us all.
The sun, of course, couldn’t stay away. It is July after all. Still, not wanting to disturb the creek’s peace, it slid through the branches that overhung it with care.
It eased its light beneath the calm waters in small, filtered patches. For the rest, it was content to ride the green of the trees, gliding as a reflection on the water’s glassy surface.
The creek, welcoming the warmth, sighed with pleasure and rolled gently on.
“I like rainy days the best,” the old artist told me. “That’s when the colors shine true.”
I understood what he meant. The same holds true for people as well. When the clouds are the thickest and it seems like the stream of troubles will never end, you find out who’s got enough perspective to smile, to reach out with a helping hand, to speak a sincere and encouraging word.
Circumstances are just that, you know – good or bad only because we label them so. To the lily, hours of endless rain are no reason not to dance.
After a day of clear and cloudless skies, sunset took us by surprise. And not only us. July herself almost forgot the time of day.
At the very last minute, she whistled for the winds and they blew in a batch of rolling fluff so her chance to paint the evening wouldn’t pass her by. She grabbed deep lavender and shades of gold and hurled them, laughing, against her canvas of clouds. With her broadest brush, she swirled the colors together, heaping them in layers against the blue and glowing sky.
“Good one, July!” we shouted, clapping from our porch chairs as we watched the sudden show.
Then, as quickly as she’d brought it, she hurried it away, trading it for a blue that turned to indigo and sparkled with fireflies and stars.
We just sat there, holding hands, feeling the glow long after the of last gold faded away.
Now and then, when the world seems wholly askew, it’s good to walk where serenity reigns, where all the pieces effortlessly flow together and make sense.
To walk in such a place is to begin to understand that this is a hint of the whole and of its nature, given to remind you that the situation is larger than it seemed.
You can tell by the way your heart is at peace here, as if this is a swatch of home, as if this is a deeper truth than turmoil tells. You can tell by the way your trust flows out to meet it. Somehow, you realize, all is exactly as it is meant to be. You do not need to understand; understanding will come to you in its own time.
For now, you need only to breathe in this infinite calm, this limitless reassurance, this perfect all-loving Yes.
I pulled into her driveway last spring when I saw her white head bowed over a newly dug row alongside her fence. The first crocuses and tulips had just begun to bloom.
“You garden is always so beautiful!” I told her.
“Oh, I’ve had trouble getting to it! So much grass to cut, with all this rain!” she said, laughing.
“Well, it brightens my days all summer when I drive past,” I said. “I just wanted you to know that people notice and that it spreads little beams of happiness into the world.”
Her roadside bouquets are a kaleidoscope of beauty, scene after scene of living gems, dancing across the summer days. What a gift to offer passersby, this sweep of song on an old country road.
It began when the Yes separated the firmament from the waters. It was the first song, carrying all the peace and power that the universe contains, expressing all the love of the Yes and all the joy.
It washed in, and flowed out, and its rhythm has continued to this day. And all creatures everywhere know its sound, whether they have stood on a sea’s shore or not, for it is the breathe of God, and its life and comfort swirls ceaselessly in great currents ‘round the globe, and in sacred rivers in the bodies of all beings who dwell here.
And if you are still, you will hear its secrets rising from your heart, and its song will bring you endless peace.