Ever since I was a kid, one of my favorite holidays has been July 4 - Independence Day. It was a time for me to go swimming, have fun with my friends, and enjoy fireworks when I was growing up. Living in the mid-west, where winters were harsh and spring was still cold and rainy, to say nothing of lasting way too long, July 4th meant summer was truly here! Just recently I enjoyed the glee with which my grandchildren greeted the last day of school and all that it meant to them. They were having their own version of "Independence Day" as they looked forward to lovely summer days with no requirements - just unbridled fun! I'm reminded of that old rhyme - "no more pencils, no more books; no more teachers' dirty looks." Since I spent decades as a teacher before becoming a minister, I do have mixed feelings about that rhyme now. In any event, the end of school did harbinger the 'lazy, hazy days of summer.'
And then toward the end of June we celebrated the solstice together - the longest day of the year in terms of sunlight. This is a time that has been the impetus for rituals, feasts, and merrymaking since time immemorial and in cultures across the world. There definitely is something about summer -- even in Southern California where the winters are not that bad [at least from the perspective of a former mid-westerner] -- that invites us to celebrate the beauty and wonder of life, and to just enjoy our [sometimes] beautiful world.
So that's my wish for us all: take time to recognize and celebrate the beauty of our world, the lovely climate we live in, and the joy of community and friends. We can do that, even while we are working to overcome injustice, and caring for the environment which is plagued by drought and other depredations of nature. Here at UUCA we'll do it by coming together as a beloved community every Sunday, by celebrating July 4th as a community, and by working together to make the world a better place tomorrow than it is today.
May the beauty of this season counteract the difficulties of life and give you peace and joy - both of which will fuel us for the work ahead!
In the meantime,
Go shining, Karen