Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Wisdom of Summer
Get out. Summer calls us to the great outdoors. Holed up all winter, busy as beavers all spring, summer is the time to walk away from our desks and get out under a wide open sky. For a million years our ancestors lived in forests, savannas, deserts and alpine valleys. It was only yesterday that we invented ceilings and these confounded electric lights. Modern life has insulated us from the very cycles and processes of the natural world that gave birth to us – we have forsaken our mother. That restlessness you feel might be your soul’s longing for home, for we are made – body, mind, heart and soul – from the elements of the natural world. Summer is the time to step back into the primal home of our Pleistocene ancestors. Garden, gather, hunt, fish, camp, wander and wonder at the depth and breadth of our sweet mother earth. Embrace the life and death process by which nature feeds itself in a never-ending array of transformation. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Let a campfire, a ring of trees and a star filled sky be your home.
Marvel and wonder. In the end, summer is a time of great miracles and endless magic. There is no limit to the boundless mystery of existence, and in the long warm days of summer this infinite parade goes right through our heart like cupid’s arrow. We fall in love with the messy world just as it is, and we feed on the bounty at our feet. We become again as a child, and gaze in wide wonder at rivers meandering through meadows of columbine in a lingering twilight while in the distance lilting fireflies grace the boughs of the darkening trees, and high above, the stars one by one return to take their rightful place in the order of things. We stand on the shore of a vast ocean. Our toes are barely wet, but we feel in our soul the infinite reach of the cosmos present in every grain of sand. In the loving gaze of our dog, in the kindness of a stranger on the train, in the unearned grace of good fortune, we feel the divinity of a purposeful, meaningful universe – a place where we belong, where each of us teaches, learns and grows in the wisdom of summer.