SUMMER [is] the period of full power when life multiplies, and it is hard to believe that it can ever end.
A. W. Tozer, We Travel an Appointed Way

SUMMER AFTERNOON—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance

TIME IN THE SUMMER does not seem to move; instead, time collects, or perhaps it might be better said to pool. One of the spiritual lessons of summer is just that: to allow time to pool. To halt in our headlong rush. To be fully in a particular time. To stop long enough to see what lies around us, rather than to be always merely glimpsing.
Gary D. Schmidt, Susan M. Felch, editors, Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season

THE BEST TEACHERS to help us enjoy summer are little children. They do not yet work in offices. They do not own calendars with tasks crying out to be done. I love to see the parks fill up with young life each summer. … I am joining them for a day, lest I grow old before my time. … As a child, I was quite successful at living life fully, because I had not yet learned to live by the calendar. I lived by heart.
Macrina Wiederkehr, in The Circle of Life

THERE'S ONLY ONE sure way to tell the weeds from the vegetables. If you see anything growing, pull it up. If it grows again, it was a weed.
Corey Ford, in Look

I SIT beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been.
Bilbo Baggins (aka J.R.R.Tolkien), The Fellowship of the Ring

summer is prudent,
but a child who sleeps in harvest
brings shame.
Proverbs 10:5, (NRSV)

THE FIRST ACT is over; the final one is yet to be. The story summer tells us—or perhaps better, the story it shows us—is the oldest one of all: A man and a woman tending a garden, eating its fruits, and walking with God in the cool of the day.
Gary D. Schmidt, Susan M. Felch, editors, Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season

[W]HEN MELODY WELLS UP in thrushes' throats, and bees buzz honeysong, and rock and river clap like hands in summer sun, then misery's drowned in minstrelsy, and Godric's glad in spite of it all.
Frederick Buechner, Godric

ALONE in my new garden, kneeling over a bed filled with rich, dark brown topsoil … I scooped up a handful of soil and took in its earthy, almost aphrodisiac smell. Ahh. I love the smell of earth. No perfume ever invented by man has matched the smell of rich, loamy soil.
William Alexander, The $64 Tomato

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THERE'S a fine line between gardening and madness.
Cliff Clavin, TV show Cheers

Related Elsewhere:

We Travel an Appointed Way, A Backward Glance, Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, The Circle of Life, The Fellowship of the Ring, Godric, and The $64 Tomato are available from,, and other book retailers.

Past Reflections columns include:

Philosophers' Potpourri (June 9, 2006)
Ponder These Things (May 17, 2006)
Holy Week (April 4, 2006)
Evening Prayer (March 10, 2006)
Morning Prayers (Feb. 6, 2006)
Hope (Jan. 16, 2006)
Christmas (Dec. 19, 2005)
Poetry (Dec. 12, 2005)
Grace that Surprises (Oct. 3, 2005)
Friendship (August 31, 2005)
Wisdom That Sticks (August 8, 2005)
His Body, His Blood (June 08, 2005)
On Baptism (April 25, 2005)
Discovering God (April 07, 2005)
Welcoming the Stranger (Feb. 22, 2005)
The Church and Mission (Feb. 02, 2005)
The Church (Jan. 11, 2005)
Word Made Flesh (Dec. 20, 2004)
The Way of Salvation (Nov. 08, 2004)
Sin and Evil (Oct. 18, 2004)
Teaching and Learning (Sept. 15, 2004)
Wisdom for the Road (Aug. 02, 2004)
Discipleship (July 13, 2004
Conversion (June 09, 2004)
The Outpoured Spirit (May 03, 2004)
He Is Risen (April 08, 2004)

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