Summer is here, with heat, thunder, and flowers. The turning of the season from spring to summer always seems to me to be filled with scent. Everything that is, is an invitation to savor and enjoy the sacredness of physical being.
The afternoon is mild and breezy,
Cool in the shade, spattered with warm sunshine.
The seedpods of the redbud
Are fresh and green as the mown grass.
I walk the back streets,
Streets lined with small houses and large trees,
Admiring the oak leaves fully open and shiny,
The red flowers of geraniums and pink coral-bells,
The glossy blue-black heads of grackles,
The truncated song of a robin,
And a chickadee’s scolding call.
But oh, my Lord, the fragrance!
Honeysuckle hedges prodigal in the sun,
Bold drifts of mock orange,
The more delicate perfume of late viburnums,
The mild, coarse scent of horse chestnuts,
Here the faint reek of manure in a vegetable garden,
Everywhere the tang of newly mown grass.
Back at the retreat center,
I sit at the shaded picnic table in the back yard,
Writing and watching ants busy for crumbs.
In the gazebo, a small group is singing,
Practicing the songs for tomorrow’s liturgy.
Surely, Lord, to breathe in the pleasures
Of your good earth and rejoice
Is a kind of prayer in which you delight.