Keeping Up with the News

by Christine Sine

It’s hard to believe that we are almost half way through the year and that the summer solstice is now behind us. I love this season of long warm evenings and early morning wanders in the garden and make the most of the opportunities to drink in the beauty of God’s world and the wonder of all I see around me. Unfortunately, we are one of the few places in the U.S. that has had pleasant temperatures this week. Many of you are caught under the dome of intense heat scorching the U.S. and Canada. For some it followed devastating floods. My heart goes out to all those who are caught in the extreme weather conditions caused by climate change, not just on this continent, but all over the world.

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster for me. I started with a wonderful weekend getting my garden in order and admiring the slow growth of our tomatoes, squash and onions. I transplanted basil and pulled morning glory (bindweed) like fury. Did you know it can grow 12 inches in a day and burrows up to 20 feet below the ground? No wonder it seems ready to take over the world. I established new spiritual practices that will guide me through the summer and got caught up on correspondence I ignored while we were in Britain. So much to give thanks for.

However, yesterday I heard from my family that my oldest brother, who has been struggling with malignant melanoma for the last few years was admitted to hospital yesterday and the prognosis is not good. I appreciate your prayers. This is when it is very hard to have one’s family half a world away. As well as that, our 7 year old dog Goldie has a cancerous growth that I have a consultation about today. I expect surgery to be scheduled in the next couple of weeks. When life throws challenges like these at us, the comfort of faith makes a profound difference.

I find that the solstice celebrations are increasingly important to me, one of the anchors that helps to give my life stability in the increasing challenges of my personal life as well as of society as a whole. This week in Meditation Monday: Celebrating the Solstice Through Our Heritage. I look at some of the traditions for celebrating that come from my Greek heritage. Exploring these was both fascinating and encouraging. I heartily recommend that you too consider exploring your heritage to see what neglected traditions you could benefit from. The audio for this post is available through Substack for paid subscribers.

Last Wednesday we posted our tenth Liturgical Rebels Episode, a fascinating interview with Naomi Lawrence. I heartily recommend this episode to you, and if you have not yet connected to The Liturgical Rebels perhaps you would like to use the summer to get caught up. Check out all the interviews including Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne and Scott Erickson here.

Many of you may have noticed that Godspacelight had very few posts this week. Many of our authors are taking a well deserved break after using their skills and their insights to sustain us through the onerous challenges of COVID. However you might like to check out a few past posts that are particularly pertinent to this season of the year. First, in case you missed St John the Baptist’s Day on June 24th, here is an excellent post Increase and Decrease, St John and the Summer Solstice by Jan Blencowe. As she says “This alignment of holy remembering and natural phenomenon is no accident.”

I love Lilly Lewin’s Freerange Friday Intentional Summer from last year. Her question “What will you need to do to actually feel refreshed by September, rather than more used up or burned out?” It is particularly thought provoking and her suggestions are excellent. I also recommend her Creating a Centerpiece for Summer Prayer. She is always so creative and helpful in her suggestions.

For another kind of intentionality, read Lisa De Rosa’s post Enjoying Summer with Creation Care in Mind. She challenges me to think through the environmental impact of each item I use over the summer and how I can choose to lessen my ecological footprint. A challenging and important post especially as climate change makes many of us very aware of our environmental impact.

If you are looking for a prayer to help orient you through the summer, I suggest this Litany for Summer by Fran Pratt.

You might also like to consider the importance of hospitality over the season, which for me his one of the most important aspects of the season. My favourite post which I love to reread and reflect on over the season is my Meditation Monday: Learning Hospitality from Psalm 23. It is a good starting place for all of us as we prepare for BBQs and beach picnics in the north and cosy gatherings around the fire in the south.

As you prepare for a new season, it is always good to plan and move with intentionality into the new joys and sorrows that it holds.

As you can imagine, Australia, the Southern Hemisphere and the dark of winter are very much on my mind even though here in Seattle we are entering summer. I thought I would share this prayer by Brother David Steindl-Rast for the winter solstice.

May you grow still enough to hear the small noises earth makes in preparing for the long sleep of winter, so that you yourself may grow calm and grounded deep within.

 May you grow still enough to hear the trickling of water seeping into the ground, so that your soul may be softened and healed, and guided in its flow.

 May you grow still enough to hear the splintering of starlight in the winter sky and the roar at earth’s fiery core.

 May you grow still enough to hear the stir of a single snowflake in the air, so that your inner silence may turn into hushed expectation.

Many blessings on you and yours

Christine Sine

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