Okay, so maybe the weather isn't quite up to speed this year. "Summer" looming on the calendar looks a lot more like spring just barely starting outdoors, but I'm okay with that. Summer is usually a little too long and a little too hot for me anyway, and if we sneak up on it with some of this foggy, chilly, beachy, dampness, maybe it won't seem like a torture at the end of August. Shoot - at this rate, we'll be lucky to turn off the heat in the house by the end of August!
Season changing, and again there's a huge clock overlaying the world, and the second hand is near the top, and the minute hand is about to click. The scenery has already changed. Everything has changed. For me, everything has changed. Again.
At the parish, we are doing a huge project to organize, format, and use a multi-age, multi-purpose curriculum for children's religious education. This past school year was our first experiment, and it was a stunning success! Those kids learned hymns and catechism and songs and lessons ... they can recite in "choir" with each other, and they watch out for each other like a group of loving siblings. I couldn't be happier about the effort they've put in and the things they've been able and willing to do, and the final presentation for the congregation at coffee hour was a smashing success. But the secret's in the sauce.
And the sauce has been simmering for a long time. The sauce was not a one-person endeavor. The sauce needed more than one person to stir it. And THIS year another cook signed on for the fun - not just for awhile, but for years to come. Others have pitched in over the years when they've been needed, but none of them could stand and stir like this one does. You know who you are, my friend and sister, and without your creative input, enthusiastic willingness, and determined patience, I could not possibly have gotten those catechumens through a real year of vigorous, traditional Anglican children's instruction. I want to cut loose with the joy of it - to sing like Maria von Trapp in the opening sequences on mountaintops! This team we've formed - it's just so GOOD.
On the home front, we enter a new summer of our lives. This - here - now - this is two adult people who've passed all the way through child rearing and out the other side, and this is the first summer of the New Order of Things. We've done practice runs before. Evenings, or weeks, or school terms without offspring in the house. But this isn't practice. This is it. And now it's summer.
It's summer for us in a lot of ways. We planted and tilled and planted and weeded and tilled and planted and tilled and planted ... and the kids grew up! All at once, it's summer and there's nothing to do but watch what happens in this field we've worked on all these years. Now is not the time to try pulling out the tares. Too much of the wheat may be harmed, and it's not ours to do. Now is the time to let it alone to do what it will. The harvest is coming. (Please, God, send the latter rains.)
Life is like this. It's seasons inside of seasons - a wheel within a wheel, a'turnin', way in the middle of the air. For this family, it's summer. And I've just planted something I've never planted before ... and ... well, did you ever put a seed into the ground and be unable to stop yourself from checking on it several times a day? I feel like the boy in The Carrot Seed.
They keep telling him, "It won't come up." But he's an Idealist and a Dreamer and he knows. He just knows. If every day he pulls up the weeds around the seed and sprinkles the ground with water ... he just KNOWS it will come up.
And it does! It's HUGE. He carts his carrot around on a wheelbarrow because it's gigantic.
And my seed was a marketing idea, and my weeding was the courses I offered but never got to teach at the community center, and my water was hope ... and now I have a student. One perfect student who understands what she's doing and participates with her whole self and is learning to write for self-discovery and follow directions with the most sweetly lovely trust imaginable, and I am beside myself with the possibilities for the seeds I've planted.
Why ... what if ... what if a whole CROP of carrots as huge as my entire self came up? What if?