Tales September 2009

“The summer that never was,” this is how I am hearing this past summer described by countless people.  All of the rain and cold temperatures that we experienced pushed away the possibility of sunny, warm days spent swimming in local ponds or lazing in the hammock with a good book. 

Hmm, so what do we do now?  September is here and maybe we don’t feel like we have even had a summer yet.  Well, maybe we have to change our expectations of what summer is meant to look like and feel like?  Maybe we have to look at what is and what was and adjust to the realities?  Maybe summer has more to do with our perception of it, than with what it actually is?  

If this is the case, then I know I need to get busy re-arranging my thinking regarding this past summer pretty quickly.  School starts this next week (as I write this article), and I think I will be better able to approach the coming autumn if I can look back on summer and feel I have gotten out of it what I needed.  I did get time to relax and read some great books, and those few sunny days at the beach felt pretty nice.  I loved having my daughters home from college, and the garden produced some awesome cherry tomatoes.  Maybe I can focus on what was good about the summer, and let the disappointments slip away?  This way I have the pleasure of fond memories to look back on, rather than frustration of missing what may not have happened.

As I write this “summer advice,” I realize that it holds true for anything we feel slighted about, any time our expectations are not met in exactly the way we might have hoped.  There is always something positive to see and focus on, if we look hard enough.  For me, this is what faith is all about; it’s about finding what is possible and positive and just plain old good in the midst of everyday life. 

Wishing you a wonderful autumn,  Shirley Oskamp,  Pastor