I’ve walked a two-mile loop along Compo beach almost every day this year—the routine has become a discipline. It serves me well, not only for the exercise, but the contemplation time.
June days bring memories of those bitter cold January mornings when I had to bundle up to deal with the wind whipping across the water. During the winter I often thought of the line in John Masefield’s poem, Sea Fever: ‘where the wind’s like a whetted knife.’
There was no whetted knife this morning, just a warm and gentle breeze. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and my fellow walkers and I were smiling. In the winter I keep as brisk a pace as possible, glad to get back into the car for the ride home. These days I keep a reasonable pace, determined to take in the beauty while maintaining the exercise.
Thoughts of yesterday’s end-of-the-year service floated across the horizon of my mind—it was a perfect way to put a cap on a year of transitions and challenges. Thanks for being part of it, and thanks for your support and encouragement. It matters.
Now we’re headed into summer, determined to regain some balance, ready to slow down that hectic pace. It’s time to stop awhile, to notice nature’s marvelous, magical messages.
During the first week in July I’ll be conducting the summer service for the Unitarian Fellowship at Chautauqua Institute. From Monday through Friday I’ll be presenting five morning lectures. I’ve titled my overall theme, ‘Through the Fire of Thought,’ using Emerson’s well-worn line to the Harvard Divinity School graduates in 1838: “The office of the true preacher is to deal out his life to the people—life passed through the fire of thought.”
My lectures will include: The Anatomy of a Religious Liberal; The Evolution of God; Struggle of the Two Natures of Man; The Legacy of Christopher Reeve; Necessary (and Unnecessary) Losses. I’ll be expanding on sermons I’ve done on those topics..
Later in July I’ll be vacationing in California with Lory for a couple of weeks while Carlyn is at her music camp near Carmel.
While I’m out of town Debra Haffner and Ed Thompson will be ‘on call’ for church emergencies. I’ll be ‘on call’ during August. Manish will be arriving on August 15 and he’ll be ‘on call,’ too.
The church office will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each of us will check in with the office every day when we’re ‘on call.’
In closing I want to wish you a good summer—a time to take a closer look, outside and inside; a time to feed the spirit. Be good to yourself.
Take these simple lines from Henry David Thoreau with you: “I wish to begin this summer well, to do something in it worthy of it and of me; to transcend my daily routine; to have my immortality now in the quality of my daily life!”