Rev. Nancy's Blog


multi-colored balloonsSummer and its holidays crash through the calendar and into our lives. I used to regard summer as a time of bliss, free of stuffy classrooms and shoes. I’m an “oil brat.” For many years home was an oil workers’ town on the shore where the Peruvian desert met the Pacific Ocean. Below the equator, our summer break from school was actually in winter. Cool breezes blew in off the ocean. Occasional storms pounded the beach and carved away sand. We never knew from one week to the next what the beach would look like.

It didn’t matter. What mattered was the space and freedom to be a kid and just Be.

How different that is from the summers of our children and grandchildren! Parents working. Summer school. Camp. How often have we all said something like “It’s summer so we have to get out and make the most of it while we can.” That pressure to get out and do something can bring more stress to a time we once regarded as an extended vacation.

But it doesn’t have to. Long days invite time outdoors, from watching the sun set on Solstice to waiting until the air and pavement cool before walking the dog. Siestas beckon during the heat of day.

It seems like half our family has birthdays from late June through July. We celebrate other occasions, too: anniversaries, the day we brought a new family member (human or other animal) home, graduations.

Why not just have one big party and throw them all together? Ah – because each individual is a unique expression of the All That Is. Each one has a history, thoughts, feelings, dreams, and experiences, even within the context of the larger clan. We acknowledge birthdays to recognize the unique individual, their anniversary of birth, and the beginning of their next journey around the sun. We honor special times and rites of passage: “when we lived in …,” “when I was pregnant with …,” “when we traveled to ….”

The people, places, and experiences in our lives are interconnected. Isn’t that why we celebrate? They’re all important acknowledgments of accomplishments and milestones, sequential celebrations and opportunities for ritual. Life is a gift. We don’t know how long it will last. We have only a rough estimate based on statistical data and family history. Rather than wishing our lives away (“only two months until …”), we can celebrate each day, each moment, as the gift it is. If a particular day happens to be significant to someone we care about, so much the better. Light a candle, hold it high and say "Thank You!" and “Well Done!”

What will you celebrate this summer?

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