Savoring Summer

IMG_0468August’s full glory displays itself in my garden as every flower planted in spring now sends out rich fragrances and an array of breath-taking blooms exploding in bright paint pots of color. Hummingbirds and butterflies sip sweet nectars. Birds drink deeply from the birdbath and other gardens not far away provide long-awaited tastes. Ears of corn bursting with row upon row of juicy kernels, sweet watermelon and peaches, deep red vine-ripened tomatoes, and assorted varieties of squash and beans add to the bounty of my table.

I delight in this season every year.

It is also a time when school supplies are stacked to the ceiling in most stores and children linger as long as possible into the evening shadows, knowing these summer days will end soon as they return to classrooms and studies put away for the summer. They too are savoring summer and resisting bedtimes, shoes, and the loss of unscheduled hours in the sunshine.

We tend to give the summer season a higher rating than other seasons. We anticipate its arrival again soon after it leaves us. When we are young, we nearly always choose it above any other time of the year. Despite the spectacular colors of fall, apple cider, toasting marshmallows, and hayrides, we often resist the beginning of autumn despite knowing the festive holiday season will soon follow.

Once we have put away the gifts, the tree, the trimmings, and the trash from the holidays, our thoughts wistfully turn to summer sunshine so many months away. The grayer, colder, snowy days of winter seem to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our patience as we are confined inside behind frosty windowpanes, bogged down with slushy slippery sidewalks and streets.

Spring gives us a glimpse of what will follow so we note the tulip and crocus while yet straining forward toward summer. We nod at the rain and clouds of April while yearning for the sunshine and summer once again.

I savor summer, but I am reminded that each season in turn is a gift and brings its own delights, treasures, surprises, and rewards. Perhaps the greater issue is the struggle to be content where I am and in whatever season it may be, to trust and rest in the assurance that each one has a purpose, a design, and a pattern to shape and mold me, align my character, adjust my perspective, challenge my thinking, and stir up my spirit.

So as summer marches forward, today I remind myself to savor the season, but not look to it as my source of contentment. Instead I am nudged to remember Paul’s words in Philippians where he speaks of learning to be content in every season. He knew the truth. He knew that long-lasting contentment could not be found in the things of this earth, no matter how wonderful, because they pass, change, evolve, and slip away. My contentment can only come when I rest in each season in the arms of the One who creates and monitors each one for His purposes, His glory, and my good.

Today I savor summer and rest in contentment about tomorrow.

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