“Summertime…. and the livin’ is easy….” croons Ella Fitzgerald, singing the song from the opera Porgy and Bess; and instantly, as we listen to the song, the slow rhythm and swing makes us want to relax… lie back… and let the worries and burdens fall from our shoulders. We can imagine ourselves on our favourite beach… with not a care in the world… the ‘out of office’ notification in place… and the wind gently ruffling our hair. Nothing to do… no place to be… except to be right here… right in this place. Yes, as we slide into June and July we enter into the season of relaxation and gentle renewal… the time of reconnecting with natural light and God’s creation. In the sunshine we are able to get out and about… alfresco dining, exercising, and yes, even having a little snooze… but mainly just enjoying the great outdoors. It fair lifts the spirits to be able to look forward to the beginning of such a wonderful season. I truly hope that all of us can, after our year of lockdown, enjoy something of the freedom and feeling of relaxation that summer brings.
This season and mood is also mirrored in the Church calendar. From the beginning of June we enter into the long Trinity Season – or Ordinary Time – when the colour of the vestments and the pulpit falls turn from white to green. It is the season of growth, not only in the garden and fields which are so plentiful here in East Lothian, but hopefully spiritually as well – as the Scripture readings become less directed and the pace becomes less intense. It is as if we are letting go of the dramas of Lent, Passiontide, Easter and Pentecost… and are beginning to swim out into deeper waters… going wherever the Spirit leads us… ready to luxuriate in each ever present moment. During Ordinary Time we will hear stories of Jesus’ ministry and have the time to linger, to imagine ourselves being there… with the crowd… with Him. It will be a time to reflect gently… to wonder about our own lives… and the part our faith plays in it.
So let us look forward to enjoying the sunnier days taking the time to walk, drive or simply sit amidst God’s creation and wonder at His generosity and abundance. Let’s notice the magnificence of the trees, the intricacies of the flower blooms… and stare in awe as the bumble bees buzz past covered with the summer’s nectar. Let’s take the time to look around us and feel something of the sense of the sacrament of the moment… and set free our souls from the pressure and push of worldly time.
I hope some of these special moments come your way this summer… wherever you go… whatever you do… whenever you find yourself with some time to relax and contemplate over the next two months. And when you touch one of those moments, then I hope you do stop and treasure it… because that awareness is precious. These are moments when we draw closer to God… when we see and appreciate anew God’s handiwork… when we hear the whisper of the Word in the sounds about us… and when deep in our soul we feel the presence of God who is ever near in the silence and freedom. Enjoy and savour!
With love, Liz