Farewell to shadows of bluebells on white chicken coop walls…Farewell to pleasant afternoons hanging laundry on the line in the company of friendly toads…Farewell to grasshoppers, and white trumpet vines, and all other such elegant pairings…Farewell to barefoot days at the edge of the lake……Farewell to the haunting serenade of loons… Farewell to daisy bouquets made by small hands, and smoky sunsets, gifts from forests burning far away…Farewell to cumulonimbus, those splendid, tall ships sailing by in the sea of the sky…Farewell to restless, flitting warblers in green, green meadows…Farewell to lush gardens decked in the thousand diamonds of sudden morning showers…Farewell to the brief, warm nights, sparkling with celestial beauty and fireflies, humming with mosquitoes…Farewell to all the sun-ripened berries hiding under the leaves…Farewell to picturesque encounters on whimsical summer evening drives…Farewell to all the babies, now raised and grown…Farewell to dancing swallowtails in ballrooms of flowers…Farewell, sweet summer; welcome, glorious autumn!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners,nor sits in the seat of scoffers;but his delight is in the law of the Lord,and on his law he meditates day and night.He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.In all that he does, he prospers.The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
Whether the calendar says so or not, the last day of August always seems like the last day of summer to me—and seeing that always makes me kind of sad. Nothing against fall or even the coming winter, mind you. I truly love the changing seasons. It’s just that summer in Minnesota is somehow just a little briefer than the other seasons, and I never quite manage to get in all the swimming and fresh peaches on ice cream that I want to before it’s time to pull out the sweaters and hot cocoa again.
As sort of a solace for this, I decided to look back over my photos from the summer months to remind myself of what we did do—and in the process, I found a rainbow. See if you can see it, too!Red is for ripe wild strawberries discovered along fence rows, sweet and warm with sunshine…
and roses outside of bakeries that smell of gingerbread…
and poppies along the chicken coop.
Orange is for a monarch butterfly, minutes old, clinging trustingly to my wide-eyed daughter’s finger…
and the one weed in my yard that I don’t mind…
and flower arrangements in my mother-in-law’s bathroom.
Yellow is for the elegant beards of irises…
and the freckled faces of the lilies along the porch…
and the not-quite-so showy roadside weeds that nevertheless delight the avid, amateur flower-pickers in my family.Green is for sun-dappled woodland ferns…
and black-eyed Susans not quite open…
and water droplets on nasturtium leaves.Blue is for swan families floating on riffles of water…
and plump round berries the color of the sky going plink-plunk in pails…
and bobolinks singing on telephone wires against the morning sky.Purple is for brilliant masses of fireweed…
and stormy skies at sunset…
and blue flags along the creek.
“You [O Lord] have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.” (Psalm 74:17)
There’s a breeze coming in off the lake, this hot afternoon in early June. There’s blue sky smiling down at me through a lacy frame of green, green leaves. Summer is in the air, and I am, appropriately, drinking it in from the luxury of an airy vacation hammock. If the air is full of summer, the views are no less so—and so I offer you these vignettes, all visible, more or less, from my leisurely post.A kayak,
slice of orange against the liquid lake,
dreams of sliding through fleets of miniature maroon lily pads,
suspended on the dainty ropes of their anchored stems,
beneath the deep shadowy green of overhanging trees.A jeweled beetle climbs relentlessly upwards
as small hands tip a stick back and forth
and inquisitive eyes watch in fascination,
filling with tears when it finally loses patience
and flies away.Relentless waves
wash a thousand coiled empty snail shells
all the miles
down the long lake.
They come to rest here,
on this smooth spit of sand suddenly rising to block their path—
and so it becomes their final resting place.
And then, chubby baby hands clutch them tightly,
turning them around and around
and over and over
in sheer enjoyment of the sensory shape. Bare feet,
run up and down long flights of stairs,
earning the right to ice cream cones and fat slices of watermelon.Ducks dabble along the quiet green edges.
A family of geese tests the calm waters of evening,
with a babysitter in tow, just in case.Great clouds sail sedately by,
swimmers leaning back against the cushion of a swim trampoline,
squinting into the sunshine to watch them mesmerized,
rocked in the cradle of the waves,
laughing at a joke I’m too far away to hear.
And I leave my hammock to go join them. Because if there’s anything possibly better than celebrating our Father’s good gift of a beautiful day in the stillness of your own soul, it’s celebrating it with others.
“We were like those who dream…then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting…The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.” (Psalm 126:1-3)
“I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.” (Psalm 52:9)
The Thunder Moon doesn’t technically occur until July, but if ever such a name was appropriate for a full moon, it was this one. It seemed to rest and roll along the tops of this magnificent soaring June thunderhead at sunset, like some whimsical bright ball up there bouncing down cloud stairways. As I watched from the porch steps, the billowing cloud rumbled faintly and the liquid gulping of a bittern echoed along the lake shore as dusk slowly fell—and I thought about David’s words:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For you steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” (Psalm 57:9-11)
And, while we’re on the topic of the moon, just for the fun of it, I thought I’d share a few interesting lunar-themed links I’ve happened across recently. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Here’s an interesting article on how each month’s full moon got it’s name.
Read this book by Astronaut James Irwin for a first-hand, uniquely Christian perspective on the first landing on the moon—it’s full of pictures and fascinating!
Actual video clips and audio from that first landing, with some unexpected lightheartedness. “Hippity hop and over a hill…”
Sometimes I feel like this, too when waiting for the moon to rise.
Moon phases explained, with Oreos.
If you could read French, this would be a spectacular lunar treat to create.
If you’re as fond of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, and Horatio Spoffard’s ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ as I am, you should listen to this.
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:9-10)
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined…
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7)
Praise the Lord—because He came, we can each truly have a…