Embracing Life

There is always something special about the month of June with its idea of two months of summer ahead. I’m not sure if it’s a vestige of my childhood, but June serves as a placeholder or marker for the start of summer – the start of fun – the start of lazy summer afternoons with seemingly endless afternoons stretching out. I remember days at the lake spent in and out of the water, no real sense of time because it seemed to be suspended. And the risks that one took – to plunge into the icy cold water off the platform – to finally learn how to ride the bike hands-free.

We here at South Fraser Unitarians also take a bit of a break over the summer – committee meetings pause, full-on Sunday services and congregational events take a break as well. You’ve all worked hard this year and accomplished a great deal. It’s now time to take a well-earned rest – to turn our thoughts to the ways that life invites us to embrace it.

Over the summer months, I invite you into two things. The first is an exercise to deepen your connection with the circuit of soils, plants, and animals. Find a space in your garden or in a park nearby to where you live and spend time there once or twice a week for about 10-15 minutes. Then turn and face the east. Take two breaths in and as you do so, make note of what you see. What are you feeling? Is it warm or cold? What sounds are happening around you? What do you smell? Repeat this with each direction – the south, the west, the north, and then look up, and then look down. When you’re done, express your gratitude to the earth and all the living beings on it, giving thanks for your connection.

And the second is to have fun! Please take time to re-arrange your pictures, or make a cocktail and enjoy it (only if you’re over 19), or write a song, make faces in the mirror, jump in the lake, wear gold, play your childhood games once again, stay up all night, dance, take a trip with nowhere in mind, streak, massage someone, dust, spend an afternoon composing a letter to someone who has inspired you but who you’ve not yet thanked.

Over these lazy, hazy days of summer embrace the many ways life calls to each of us to notice the small things in life and appreciate them.