Slow Summer Time

  Thank God, we are now in what is known as “ordinary time” in the liturgical cycle of Christian faith and practice. We just observed Trinity Sunday on June 11. For the next six months, our Episcopal altars will be draped in green, and we will reflect on ordinary, daily living of life, a life of faith, hope and love. A life that chooses to be alive, aware of the beauty of this world.

    For this household, early summer means moving from active gardening to harvesting. Doug is bringing in bowls of bright yellow Sungold tomatoes and Ichiban eggplant. We weed a bit, and water as needed. We are also pulling up the plants that are suffering from the heat. But mostly, we are savoring the fruits of the garden, breathing in the heady aromas of copper canyon daisy and rosemary and oregano. The hot weather flowers (cosmos, hibiscus, bouganvilla, rock rose, salvia, lantana, Pride of Barbados) are bursting with color. Summer mornings and evenings, when the southeast wind comes off the Gulf of Mexico, the air has a distinctive softness.

    When I was growing up, many weekends were spent at my Kopecky grandparents’ place in the country. There was no running water, no indoor toilet. It was almost like camping, but not quite, because we slept in beds in simple cabins. Summer days were a feast of the senses. Simple peanut butter and onion sandwiches made by my grandmother. Swimming in the creek. Catching perch and striped bass with a cane fishing pole. Watching turkey vultures circle overhead in the deep blue vault of the Texas sky. Reading Marvel comics during quiet time in the heat of the afternoon.

    Time slowed down. Time became oriented toward natural rhythms, rather than the clock. We stayed up later and caught fireflies, listened to stories with whippoorwills calling in the background.

    As the liturgical calendar leads us into the slow time of June and July, before the planning activities of mid-August, even our beloved animal companions move into more relaxed patterns. Leftovers, our 22 pound cat, lolls in the grass or on the deck. He appears to be completely enjoying the balmy, warm mornings. Graford and Fiona, the border collies, choose to chase the tennis ball, but for half the time. Good naps on the cool Saltillo tile make up the bulk of their days.

    And the humans? We are savoring siesta. Eating vegetables still warm from the sun. Reading and going to movies. Slowing and remembering, entering the reverie of remembered times on the Guadalupe River and Canyon Lake, noticing our own deep craving for time that opens out, time that is easy, time that is no time.