Summer is sneaking up upon us. Maybe because we had winter until May here in MA (at least it seemed that way). Or perhaps we have just been in the very busy season of spring and baseball and end of the year activities. I’m never quite ready for summer, never have everything planned, but then I remember – it is summer. It is time to slow down.
Time for late rising for some, or for others backyard breakfast on the deck in their pjs,
bubbles and water balloons, nights by the fire pit and s’more making,
tilling of the garden and cooking class nights,
new plays to be created in the woods and endless soccer games in the yard,
quiet reading time for big people while little people nap, and not so quiet impromptu dance parties in the kitchen,
fun science projects to try and sewing machines to try out,
new playgrounds to be discovered and beaches to be walked on,
time for little 1 on 1 trips to the chapel & a treat with mom, and music lessons with dad,
tie-dye shirt making and popsicle stick crafting,
new ice cream stands to be found and homemade ice pop recipes to concoct,
sunset watching and firefly catching…
a time to catch our breath,
and catch the beauty of the moment as things slow down a bit.
Let us take that moment to s l o w down. Take that moment to drink in the sun as it sets over the mountain. There is a place not far from us that has become quickly a favorite place for us. A little ice cream stand… on the top of a mountain. It has a little goat pen where the kids can go fed and pet the goats and watch them play, and a simple playground with some ride on cars for the little ones, a sandbox, and things. Our favorite time to go is a little before sunset. Everyone gets to pick a different flavor of real, homemade, full-fat ice cream (the best kind, in my opinion). And we sit together at the picnic table and eat and laugh and it’s one of those moments when everything is right in the world. And then they all go off and play.. the little ones to the goats and park, and the bigger kids are a little further out throwing the baseball to each other. And Dan and sit together on a bench, holding hands, watching them all, as the sun sets. Sometimes we just look at each other and ask if this is actually real life. It is so peaceful. We look with joy and wonder at the scene in front of us. Time stands still for a moment, and we drink in its beauty. We are grateful for this moment of quiet goodness, and know that God is here. He slowed us down and plopped us on that bench so He could show us His masterpiece. The sun is setting just over the next mountain, and the sky is lit up with so many colors; He has painted this scene so beautifully. And His other little masterpieces are scattered on the grass, taking a moment to look up at His majestic work, then running back to us to finish the last moments of the sunset together as a family. Glimpses of heaven.
Not every moment is like that. There are still tears, and upsets moments, sometimes a lot, as there are a lot of people living under this one roof, each with their own personality, gifts, challenges, and crosses. But, there is also beauty. And joy. And goodness. And taking time, slowing down, letting the gift of the moment come, looking for goodness, allowing our hearts to be filled with joy – this are the habits of summer that we can practice so that they can become life long habits that we can still maintain to some degree when summer ends and a new season begins. As we prepare for the Feast of Pentecost, let us ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts, to let ourselves slow down, and be renewed and refreshed in Him, who is our Joy, our Hope, our Consolation. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of Your Love. Amen.
Here is a little reflection I came across this week on the Holy Spirit. I found it quite profound. Hope you enjoy. 🙂
“Like the sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth His grace in full measure sufficient for all, and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive Him… As clear transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and source of grace for others.” ~ St. Basil the Great