All Summer is a Temple


It has been a quiet peaceful summer, a respite before I begin a full time ministry in Mississauga.  Spending my days at home, for all the attention I have offered this small piece of the world, I still managed to miss so much of the abounding life that surrounds my home.  Mary Oliver says it best.

Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith

Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear

anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.

Mary Oliver
From West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems.


summer stillness

We need to have time to just breathe and relax.  We need to be leisurely: to go slow, take time, to notice, to appreciate. This is easy to say, but not really that easy to do.

I read an essay once that suggested we should learn to sit and do nothing for half an hour while sitting in a park or a garden. Really do nothing, don’t focus on your breath, don’t think, don’t plan, just sit and be. I tried, I didn’t make five minutes before getting up to water the tomato plants.

To simply be takes some practice.  Being in this way is the state of being yourself at ease within the whole. It is not about forgetting yourself, or transforming yourself,  but simply being comfortable with all that you are. Not just the thinking you, or the physical you, or the emotional you, but the whole integrated deal.

And in just being you, at ease, you become open to the world,to all the other beings with you. Being part of the aliveness of summer

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Balm for the Spirit

Each Monday for the rest of the summer I will be posting a “Monday Meditation”, a quote, a poem, a video, an image to start the week with a moment of calm.  Enjoy!

“Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.”
Ada Louise Huxtable

Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin Provincial Park, July 2011