American poet Joyce Kilmer wrote a poem that is considered to be one of the most well-known, at least its first line: “I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.”
Walking the grounds of Live Oak this time of year, that verse came to me as I looked at all the different types on our property. No, we do not have the brilliant reds and golds as the trees in New England, but even here, we can see the changing of the seasons in leaves that turn to goldenrod and berries of a dark brown-red.
The heat is (too slowly for my taste, but I wasn’t consulted) lifting some, and like those who have been stuck inside during a blizzard, we can now venture forth, remembering that actually, yes, we DO like the outdoors. Here at Live Oak, we have the gift of this magnificent “park” our church building is situated on. Sunday, the weather should be pleasant enough for the return of “Linger Longer Sundays.” Bring a cooler with your lunch (or run out for nearby takeout – we won’t judge) and join us after the second service outside on the picnic tables.
But I hope that you will consider not just lingering on Sunday afternoon. Consider stopping by during the week. Bring your coffee and stop by to sit on a bench on the chalice pathway before you go into work. Enjoy the new cool mornings available to us. Give yourself the present of not looking at your phone for a full 5 minutes — gaze up at the trees, instead.
Or stop by on your lunch break. Bring your lunch, and sit out under the trees. Stop and listen to the fountain by our front door. Listen to the birds, look at the flowers.
In the evening, stop by and walk the labyrinth. Take deep breaths and “close out” your workday so you can go home and truly be home, mind and soul.
We have a whole forest full of poems. They’re here all day, every day. They are part of your church, too. Stop by and read them.