Summer Healing

I love songs about summer. It started at a young age, with my LP of John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High and the song Summer:

Silently the morning mist is lying on the water
Captive moonlight waiting for the dawn
Softly like a baby’s breath a breeze begins to whisper
The sun is coming, quick you must be gone
Smiling like a superstar the morning comes in singing
The promise of another sunny day
And all the flowers open up to gather in the sunshine
I do believe that summer’s here to stay

Growing up in coastal Texas, songs about summer made me look at the hot, muggy, buggy days a little differently. Those songs made it something to be celebrated. Summertime and the living’s easy … In the summertime, when the weather is high, You can stretch right up and touch the sky … Summer, it turns me upside down … Yeah, the lyrics might be problematic to today’s ears, but they evoked a feeling, you know?

And now here we are, summer of ’21, the summer not-quite-after The Great Pandemic, with covid-19 still in our area, and our youngest ones not eligible for vaccine. AND … for many of us, we can now get out and about, and begin our transition from The Pandemic Year to whatever comes next. We can have our post-pandemic firsts … first outdoor concert. First time eating inside a restaurant. First party with friends.

Just as we had different experiences from each other during the pandemic, this summer will mean we are in different places, with different challenges and different freedoms. For some, this will be the time when you can travel again, when you can reconnect with family and other loves ones. This will be a summer of enjoyment. For others, it may be a little more difficult. It may mean going back to the office, starting a new job, helping a child through summer school, dealing with non-covid medical issues. This is, always, one of the complexities of religious community. Every Sunday, some people come to Live Oak with broken hearts and spirits, and others arrive with joy and satisfaction. Our task is to “hold the space” for everyone to share what is true for them in that moment.

But I do hope that everyone this summer will be able to do something that will help with their recovery. This past year, we’ve been carrying fear and loneliness. For myself, I’m thinking of times in my life when I moved out of a time of crisis, and needed a period of healing. I will be looking for ways to accept the trauma I’ve been through, celebrate survival, and prepare my heart to open again and my spirit to be replenished. I am looking for renewal, and I hope you find ways to seek your own. (Do you know how you are going to find renewal? Let me know! You may give me some ideas.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to experience some joy again.

And oh I love the life within me
I feel part of everything I see
And oh I love the life around me
A part of everything is here in me.

Summer, John Denver