Summer is a time of joyous reunions, a gathering of friends and families from various places and periods in our lives. These reunions bring together pieces of our lives, fragments of time, and reintegrate them into our present self. We spend so much time in the pressing demands of the NOW – work and home, roles and responsibilities, urgent situations demanding that we set aside ourselves, of who we ARE in favor of the thing we must DO. Summer time, reunion time, gives our lives a chance to slow down, gives ourselves a chance to catch up.
Perhaps the most important reunion summer encourages us to enjoy is our reunion with creation. At the lake, in the woods, on the leafy trail or the dusty road, summer time, slower time, gives us a chance to connect again with nature. J. Phllip Newell reminds us these connect us with our earliest experiences:
“Like most children, I had grown up with a sense of awe at creation. Our earliest memories are generally of wonder in relation to the elements. Do we not all carry with us, for instance, something of the memory of first listening to the waters of a river or to rainfall, or lying in the grass, feeling and smelling it and seething its brilliant green, or watching sunlight dappling through leaves.”
In his book, “Listening for the Heartbeat of God; A Celtic Spirituality,” Newell sees these earliest experiences as essential in our relationship with God: “Connecting to these moments will be recollections of experiencing at the deepest of levels a type of communion with God in nature…”
There is a lovely prayer a story attributes to a woman from the Scottish Island of Harris who found healing in nature. Perhaps it can be our prayer through these last, precious days of summer:
There is no plant in the ground
But is full of God’s virtue,
There is no form in the strand,
But is full of God’s blessing
Jesu! Jesu! Jesu!
Jesu who ought to be praised.
Your friend and fellow minister,
Rev. Steve Savides