In summer, more than in any other season, we need only go to gardens,
forests, parks, mountains, or shore to reestablish our spiritual connection
with Nature's quiet and bounty, as well as her unexpected dramas.
In summer, we are able to feel the ways of Nature. We find
comfort and beauty reflected in our daily lives by flowing with her patterns,
thus living in a way complementary to both the earth and ourselves. This
connection, once established, alerts us to change. We become observers,
we live the rainstorms, wind, and drought that rearrange our part of the
earth. Personal patterns change. No matter how avidly we plan and plant,
we bend to the influence of a greater force.
In summer, animals, birds, and insects directly affect our
lives. At Naramata, hummingbirds fly through the open kitchen door, attracted
by colors that promise nectar, while a black bear lumbers through the
meadow at teatime, on the prowl for woodland berries. As I watch, a willing
participant, fresh questions arise, important to the pattern of summer
life: "How do I get the hummingbirds off the ceiling fan? Should
I wait until just a little later in the afternoon to take my walk?"
A lily growing by the front door welcomes guests, with its
fragrance and color, to the dinner table just inside. Queen Anne's lace
fills a corner of the meadow, now a landing pad for lightning bugs, and
later the fragile framework preceding patches of vibrant blue wild lobelia
that spring from the edges of a moist streambed. Summer defines and softens
patterns, making us part of the joyful creation around us. Her flowers,
like a beautiful smile, bring inner gladness.