Tuesday June 16 — summer break
This May and early June seemed to dance right by. Six weeks ago spring arrived, cooler than usual; this week’s mid-June rains, more dense and frequent than usual, bring some flooding and surging leaves and grass and flowers . . . lush early summer. It is one of summer’s arts to notice beauty as the pace of life eases back. During a week on Pine Ridge, a Lakota friend reminded me of the 25 year old who, fifty years ago, earned a nickname, “half fast.” Lots of affection and amusement encapsulated there; a sign of welcome for me I didn’t recognize at first, while I scrambled to keep up with my job and, hardly noticing, lived into adulthood. Nobody told me about the nickname until years later. Some beauty, so St. Ignatius teaches, appears while remembering already-lived times and places, tasting them again and letting them teach you what you did not notice at the time. Some beauty requires standing still and listening to beauty in the present moment. Remembering and listening, summer is a good time for both.
I come to Pine Ridge each spring to listen to the Meadowlarks sing, and to renew graces of life in this place of beauty and laughter and grief. The Rez slows my steps and my breathing. And reminds me that the normal work year has ended and summer has begun. There’s still plenty of work time but the pace is different. For you too, I hope.
This is pretty autobiographical for a workday post. I write today by way of announcing that the Work Day poetry list begins its summer break now, offering me time for gardening, baseball, nordic trac, visiting soul friends, and for reading some poetry.
See you the first Monday in August. When the posts will begin for the coming year.
Have a blest summer.
p.s. a recording of the song of the Western Meadowlark.
p.p.s. Tagore may have written this prayer-poem with summer in mind; I don’t know for sure but it works for me.
Today’s Post – Gitanjali # 5
I ask for a moment’s indulgence to sit by thy side,
The works that I have in hand
I will finish afterwards.
Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows
no rest nor respite,
and my work becomes an endless toil
in a shoreless sea of toil.
Now is the time to sit quiet, face to face with thee
and to sing dedication of life
in this silent and overflowing leisure.