Summer came this week.  It took a bit of time getting here, and as usual winter gave one last gasp before finally giving up the stage to temperatures in the mid 20s (Celsius) and plants budding everywhere.   It started a couple of days ago… I was driving home from a class I am taking and dusk had begun to settle in.  I came to the top of a hill on the road and noticed this amazing glow on a cloud hanging low in the horizon.  It looked like it was on fire. And did I mention its colour?  Sooo striking….

Stopped at a red light, I had a quick moment to take a photo. (I know, I know, no cell phone use in the car.  I was stopped okay?!)  This had to be captured.  Realizing when I took the shot that I was surrounded by traffic, construction and power lines, nature’s handiwork made a strong statement to me anyhow. 

And so, it came to me… So many times, I can be distracted by all the noise and chaos of the city, or by responsibilities all vying for my attention, or just too much going on in my head from work, news, social media….  But my mindset has changed enough that no matter what might be happening I do still see beauty reaching out to be noticed. 

And what a wonderful thing it was to notice this about me.  To know that I can see the beauty, the positive, the grand solace and wonder, the spiritual, that is all around me, even when it has to speak through the noise of stress and the mundane all around.

That was my first taste of summer this week.  But today was my first official day of summer.  I got up this morning to a sunny day, and as is my usual routine on Saturday, I got ready to go to synagogue.  Seriously feeling the warm weather vibe, I put on a pink blouse, matched with some white, a navy pencil skirt, and a pair of my favourite heels.  There’s nothing like warm weather to get me feeling that vibe again too!

Coming home after lunch, the first task had to be cleaning up the balcony patio just off my kitchen, and bringing out my summer furniture.  It may not look like much, but its surrounded by these amazingly tall pine trees, and it is my space.  It’s officially summer for me when I can sit in a patio chair and spend the afternoon reading outside.  Magic…

The balcony, a book, and a few trees…

The balcony, a book, and a few trees…

Later on, I headed down to the city lake for a walk and saw that a lot of other people had made it their first summer day too.  The ice was gone from the reservoir, the sound of water lapping against the shore had come back, and canoes and sailboats were everywhere.  The day was glorious. 

With all that wonder gifted to me today, the sky still had one thing left to say.  Living on the Canadian prairie it can be easy to take our big skies for granted.  Because it’s always there.  But if you’ve never seen the vastness of the prairie sky, it is really something.  So grand, so expansive, so never-ending.  As I walked the shore, I stopped to take long moments just to look up. And what amazing sights I saw.

Prairie sky and other summer things…

Prairie sky and other summer things…

And I guess that is the point of all this.  To look up. To look away from the distractions. To stop long enough to notice.  To notice the grand beauty that we are all steeped in.  To notice the beautiful gifts all around us.  To see, and to listen to what those great, silent, majestic beauties are trying to get us to understand. That not everything needs our constant attention. That pressing matters are not always pressing matters.  That looking at the sky, or spending a sunny afternoon reading a book, or noticing something in a new way even though its been there all this time, can fill us with satisfaction and contentment in such a way that all the other screaming things can’t hope to drown out. 

What an awesome thing it is to choose what we see.  What incredible wonders there are just waiting to be noticed.  Beauty fills the heart and quiets the mind.  And my soul is filled with summer.

 

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