The Poetry of Summertime: A Weekly Reflection

By Fr. Mike Boutin

In summer, the song sings itself.  ~  William Carlos Williams

A beautiful summer musical reflection, thanks to YouTube.

It's summer time . . . finally . . . so stop and smell the roses. In the midst of all the family vacations, sports schedules, and general busyness of life, don't miss the summertime moments of joy: a beautiful sunrise, summertime flowers, a child eating watermelon with it dripping down her face, the smell of a real barbecue, the heat of the summer sun, or a day at the beach or the lake. Take the opportunity to bask in the goodness of the Son: to slow down, to breathe deep, and to just enjoy life. Even if just for a moment . . .

I know that the lazy, hazy days of summer are long gone, a museum piece, like televisions with rabbit ears or station dials. But that doesn't mean that in the midst of the busyness of our lives we can't capture moments when time stands still, moments that become memories and give us the ability to face the difficulties and struggles of our lives with vision and hope. 

What better memory for parents than a child standing on the beach with a bucket and pail making their first sand castle and watching it being washed away by the tide, only to start all over again? Can't that memory become a kind of metaphor for our lives: endings and beginnings as the tides of life swirl around us, and finding the strength and resilience to stand there in the midst of it all, ready to begin again, even when the castles of our dreams are washed away, only to realize that they were made of sand?

Or what about that summertime experience of jumping into the pool on a really hot summer day, bracing yourself for the shock of it all, but knowing that you will be better for it? Doesn't that experience summarize some of the most challenging moments of our lives, when we have to stop just putting our toe in the water, and instead jump in, head first? 

My favorite summertime memories are sitting around a fire with family and friends at the end of a long day, with a glass of wine, and music, and the embers of the fire casting shadows: the light takes away the edges and years on our faces, makes us serene and joy-filled and reflective. Can't we learn something from those moments about reflectivity, and quiet, and deep gratitude for those people in our lives with whom we share the most important moments in and out of season?

Summertime has a lot of poetry in its days. Just take a moment, breathe deep, and don't miss them.

Now pray . . .

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