“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
So said Henry James. But today I'm thinking it's summer mornings that are most beautiful. There's a breeze this morning and the sound of air, of breath, moving through maple trees. The leaves on the grapevine in my backyard are all a-quiver as they shade and nourish the hard green grapes underneath. There are birds, and even the sound of distant sirens headed for the hospital ER does not disrupt the beauty and the peace of this morning.
The patch of grass in my backyard is overrun with Queen Anne's lace. A week ago I tried to cut the stalks down, to make my weeds conform--if you were looking from far enough away--to the concept of "lawn." But they're back, tenfold! Solid lush green grass would perhaps be more restful on the eyes, certainly closer to the suburban well-kept ideal, but I'm good with a little wilderness meadow next to my cracked cement patio. I'm good.
And now there's a tiny rabbit, too--an infant with delicate ears, no taller than the grass. I'm glad he/she is safe in my backyard. (If I still had a dog, I'd be writing a different story.)
We've had a rough week here in the U. S., confronting fear and injustice, hate, vengeance, helplessness. It can't be wrong to stop for a while, to contemplate the clouds, listen to the pneuma, the spirit, the breath of God moving over all creation--its tender rabbits, its hard urban edges, its people who carry God's own image, though all too often unaware of this image in themselves and others.
The tiny rabbit in the weeds is quietly eating breakfast, alert but trusting, curious. The world is new every day.