Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 264 It's Still Summer

Dear friends,

Tomorrow is August 1. School supplies sales are in the flyers. Summer clothes are on clearance. (Try finding a bathing suit! They’re gone!) I refuse to say (as I have heard from a few people) “Oh, summer’s just about over.” No way. I will not succumb to such thinking. I will stretch the thing out to October if I can. Besides, I haven’t had my beach fix yet. I’m an Atlantic Ocean junkie, one of the reasons I’ll never be able to leave the east coast. I’ve been to Hawaii, California, Florida and the Caribbean, but nothing compares to the beauty of the Northeastern shore. In my opinion, the Great One added a special quality of light, and a crisp, salty smell and a lovely “loneliness” to the dunes and grasses and rocks of New England’s coast. Something about the shore in this part of the world takes me down about 3 notches so I can better rest with God. He seems very near in the pounding waves and the swaying beach plums. Life with God is always an inside job, and can happen in the ghetto, or the bathroom, or a palace. But the natural world helps take us back to basics. It’s like an internal stripping mechanism in a noisy, scattered world.

My youngest son is a Norman Rockwell painting of summer to me lately. He has spent many a happy hour in his friend Robbie’s pool, and his skin is the color of those beigey olives you see in Greek salads. His hair is sandy blond and always messy, and his freckles are everywhere. David has a sensitive soul, and an unstructured summer of play and friends is just what the doctor ordered for him. Soon enough he will have to knuckle down and learn something, but for now he simply needs to live and grow. David was devastated by the events of November 8. But as children often do, he is bouncing back and learning to live with some of the changes in his life and family. There is a film by Francois Truffaut, a French filmmaker, called “Small Change”. It is my favorite of Truffaut’s films, and I recommend it. That very theme of the resilience of children is visualized beautifully when a child falls out of a window in a high rise apartment building. It's a movie worth seeing, if you don't mind the subtitle thing.

On the pilgrim road there are many venues: long, lonely stretches; short, aggravating, rocky spots; deep, dark valleys; sweet, restful shorelines. There is one constant. One “ever present help”. He is the One that gives us the power to recover, to overcome, to make the steep grade. As C.S. Lewis puts it:

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

Whisper or shout, beach or ghetto, child or adult, He is Emmanuel. God with us. Always. Everywhere. So, let US be with Him.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


No comments: