Patiently the lily waited, soaking in the light, storing it in her liquid cells. Hers, she had been told, would be the honor of acting as June’s final gift.
She held her petals in place even as her seeds ripened and her swollen bud pressed toward the day.
Finally, as the sun rose through a luscious pink and lavender sky, June came to her and whispered, “Now, child. You may open.” And with utmost grace she began her ballet of light.
All around her, the music of the morning sang June’s Anthem of Farewell: “May all your days be golden. May your hours be kissed with joy. And although there be storms and darkness, may your heart forever shine with the love of the endless sun.”
“And so may it be,” sang the lily. “So may it be, and Amen.”
Six months ago, we were watching the year fade away. It skated through a quickly darkened sky past bare trees and frozen, snow covered ground. Four months ago, we wondered if winter would ever end.
Ninety days ago, we caught the first edges of the Promise. A final snowstorm swept through, but the ice on the creeks had thawed. We held on to the hope of their song.
Now, look. The world is lush and bathed in emerald light. You can hardly walk through the forest, so dense is the undergrowth there. You wonder how settlers ever crossed through Penn’s sylvan woods.
Fox play here, and coyotes and rabbits. Squirrels chatter from the trees, and birdsong is everywhere.
The next time you find yourself walking over a patch of barren land, trust in Time. Remember what ninety days can do.
It’s not just this field of golden flowers, although this in itself is enough. It’s the sky in its perfect shade of summer blue with its perfect whipped cream clouds. It’s the way the tall grasses on the hill billow in waves like the sea’s with rafts of pink crownvetch bobbing atop them.
It’s the Anthem from Jonathan Livingston Seagull wafting from the speakers as I drive through rich Ohio farmland on this quintessential summer day: “Sanctus, Kyrie; Kryie, Gloria; Gloria, Holy, Holy.”
It’s my heart, brimming with peace and joy at the miracle of being alive in this perfect Now, in this perfect Here, breathing the great Amen.
The days had grown warm and humid. Even the trees seemed to droop in the weight of the air. Sometimes rain fell, but it brought no relief.
But June, who had ushered the summer in, knew it was all a part of the plan. Still, the creatures of the earth needed a little something to lift their sagging spirits.
Looking about in the garden, she spotted the sweet astilbe. It was stirring, but not quite awake. “Oh little one,” she whispered softly, “it’s time to wake and bloom.” And at the sound of her bell-like call, the buds on the plant opened its blossoms, which were as light as the feathers of a pure white dove.
And all who passed by smiled at the show and felt a subtle cooling, as if invisible snowflakes had just tumbled through the air.
Given the promise that rides the new light, what could you possibly do but dance? Another day to play in the field! Another day to bloom!
Let there be sunshine! Let there be song! Let there be bees and breezes!
On this bright moment, when life is full, let us take nothing for granted. For this grand gift of light and life, let us dance our joyous thanks and praise.
I didn’t recognize his insignia, the bright gold lines across his wings. But I knew at once that he was heaven sent, a messenger bearing a reminder that all is well.
Despite the turmoil in the world, the Yes supports the fragile things: The delicate breathings of hope, the spirit’s longing for freedom, the heart’s relentless trust in goodness and in truth.
Your highest dreams are safe and sing themselves in the heart of the Yes, where they can never die.
Believe in morning. Angels are everywhere.
I don’t know, of course, how trees feel. But I have a hunch that, for them, passing through the summer equinox is sort of like watching your kids turn 21. The leaves aren’t babies now. They’ve shed their adolescent giddiness and blush. And while they’re not quite fully grown, they’ve definitely matured enough to have won your respect.
I imagine the trees, who have, after all seen generations of leaves come and go, get a kick out of watching this batch dancing its way into summer. They probably smile proudly at how beautifully they’ve grown, at how strong they are and supple.
They probably chuckle at the way they strut a bit on their stems, how they give it just a little extra flicker when the breeze passes by. They think they’ll live forever. And for them, maybe a summer is forever long.
Anyway, looking at them from here, across the pond, I imagine they’re feeling just fine. I imagine they’re feeling that special surge that happens just as you’re moving into prime time.
The old covered bridges are rare now, throwbacks to days gone by. Yet, where they still stand, the people preserve them with a sense of nostalgia bordering on reverence, and with the greatest of care.
When you walk through one, you can almost hear the sound of horse hooves and wagon wheels echoing up from the worn wooden floor. You picture them, the horses, the travelers, leaning into a moment of relief from the sun’s glare, from the rain, from the sleet and snow. Even the horse feels it.
The windows are cut high to shield the rushing river from the horse’s view. Only his ears and nose tell him what lies beneath the solid planks beneath his hooves. He is unafraid. He never loses his rhythm.
You know this just by walking through the bridge. It holds its memories well and whispers them unceasingly to passersby, and to the river.
Everything is possible. The rain dreams of trees, for example, can summon rain on a summer day. The wishes of butterflies can open flowers.
Send a loving thought anywhere; it will find its way.
Dream of peace, and you will feel it unfold, spacious and free, in your own heart.
Ask anything of the dawn. Then watch and listen as its signals point the way.
Summer slid in on a streak of silver rain. But don’t let that fool you. She shot open the fire lily, too. And that’s a better omen than mere clouds.
Be prepared for heat, children. Get ready to bask in the blaze.
Haul out your memories of slogging through snow, of wearing six layers of clothing before you even got to your coat. Remember how February lasted for years, and how you thought you might die of old age before Spring ever got here.
Peel down. Let your toes be free.
Take a hint from the kids; they know the truth: Run outside, raise your arms high, and shout with all your might, “Hooray! It’s finally summer!”