Summer

The sun is forcing mid-morning light through the curtains by the time your eyes are open and the whir of the air conditioner is the only sound. What time is it? Irrelevant.

You walk to the kitchen and pour cereal and look through the window and if it can look hot outside, it does. The grass is yellow, highlighted by the little patches of green still holding on from the Spring and the trees are suffering. You feel the inclination to begin wishing time away; you’re “ready for Fall” and “you’ll be glad when the leaves start to change.” Why? You catch the mistake. This is what’s happening now. What do you have for me today, God?

The humidity wraps around you as soon as you walk out the back door and you can feel the beginnings of sweat on your face. The sun is harsh on your back as you walk the yard, then the cover of an oak tree brings relief. The water is clear and still, and when you sit down and put your feet in it sends a ripple out and away from you. The slightest breeze rattles leaves against one another in the tree above you. A bird calls from somewhere.

You think about how you have nothing to think about. Literally, nothing. This is a throwback – a tribute to July days twenty years ago when you’d paid your dues to the local elementary school, and freedom had been earned. Three months of it. You walked then with a constant butterfly in your stomach because life was so good, and you had nowhere to be and you didn’t owe anybody anything at that moment. Maybe you’d go catch crawdads. Maybe you wouldn’t.

This is the same as that. Feet in the pool, knowing that lots of people in this world are busy and you’re not one of them and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. A dog barks in the distance. It’s summer.

There’s no knowing how long you sit there before you hear the back door open and the little footsteps coming in your direction.

“Whatcha doin’?”

“I’m sitting here. Wanna join me?”

“Sure.”

Those little feet go in the water next to yours and it sends a ripple out and away from you. It’s summer.

Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. – Ecclesiastes 4:6

My prayer is to never forget the beauty – the gift – of rest and quiet and of being still. I want to recognize each season for what it is, to live fully and completely in it, and to never wish time away in the foolish hope of something that’s not here yet. When God clears my schedule, I want to take advantage of every second. Give me all that you have for me today, Lord.

I ask it in the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

(This is an excerpt from an upcoming book called Mile Markers)