Summer Spirituality

Do the different seasons call forth something specific in your spirit? I think each season has a distinct spirituality for me.

I hold a summer spirituality that feels freeing, being liberated from the layers of mittens and jackets, a freedom of simply walking out the door that evokes a spontaneous joy that spring ushers in. Each year I get older and feel it in my joints, but what happens in my soul is the same, year after year, as spring turns into the magnificent warmth of summer. I listen to the cleansing rain that clears the air and feel the warmth of sun on my back. Summer, with the coming to life of the green leaves of the trees and the budding flowers and birds singing, happened yet again! It is a beauty that almost startles me each year. 

There is something about summer that helps me to feel my childhood again. I have such treasured summer memories. As a child, I remember the first day I wore thin sandals and could feel contact with the ground after a winter of wearing thick boots separating me and the earth. I hold memories of summer at my grandparents where we could walk to the corner store and buy an ice cream cone (for ten cents). The pure vanilla, soft on my tongue, its calorie count a non-existent issue. I remember swimming in lakes, riding the waves in the ocean, total refreshment of diving into the clean cool water of the municipal pool.

Anna Quinlin wrote of a summer memory, saying, “Afterward I wondered why I hadn’t loved that day more… why I hadn’t known how good it was to live so normally, so everyday. But you only know that, I suppose, after it’s not normal and everyday any longer.” The spirituality of summer is an opportunity to be present to the everyday, the slower pace, the chance to have our feet on the grass, in the water, hiking on a trail. It is a chance to feel warm wind in our hair, sun on our nose, and watch our neighbors emerge from their winter hibernation. It is to know the beauty of God’s creation, glorious, gorgeous, blooming with life, and filling our souls. Does your heart have different seasons? I hope you revel in the simple irreplaceable gift of this summer.