editing beauty

Summer seems like an inhale while the fall seems more like an exhale.  There are so many choices, like a mass of beautiful bugs swirling around us, presenting with stunning colors.  Our commitments are so lovely, all.

The push of the “academic” or “program” year in our country is quite a push.  We all work very hard to maintain our standards of living. We work equally hard to ignore their attachment to the suffering systems of the planet.  We want what we want, we Americans do.  And we work for what we want and we take what we want from the earth and from the planet.

I wonder if the summer is a time to ask ourselves some questions in the heat of the sun and the reduced work load (if you can have such a reduction – and many cannot.)

I wonder if, in our lust for money and things, we have lost our way.  And I guess I just mean me, but perhaps others feel the same way.

What would it mean to simplify?  Have less.  Do less.  Own less. Schedule less things into our days and nights.

I will admit that I had dreams of being a monk in a monastery and then living in the woods by a river.  I was able to have both for a time.  But now I am beginning to realize that my life is not so easily cloistered and that I must be in the world and its noise.  So how do we not be of the world while in it?

For me, as I ponder this important question, I wonder if the question is priorities.  In other words, since we cannot usually choose a monastery or a cabin in woods by a river, what if we chose our “yes” more carefully and what if we made our “no” rather more often and definitively.

It is hard work to make our “no” when that word disappoints people and we humans love to be liked.  What friendships do I need to say a clear “no” to and what job tasks, and what conversations and what ministry and what invitations and what collaborations need to get a clear and loving “no” in order to weed and trim my life?  And might summer’s rest be a good time to imagine that pruning?

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