+[why summer]+

This morning I parted my hair in a deep left slant, then dutch braided only the front section downward toward my right ear.  I then dutch braided the back from top to bottom, loosely incorporating the side braid section into the back braided section.  I tucked the final braid up and under itself at the nape of my neck with a few blonde pins, pulled on a few pieces to make it less confining and stretched out the braids themselves to loosen them.  I grabbed a multilayered, chestnut batik print,  floor length wrap skirt and wrapped one side around my waist and one side over my left shoulder, securing the long ties below my right shoulder blade.  I then tied first layer of the the far right corner of the fabric to the ties already in place.  Then the second layer.  What it created was a one shoulder, below the knee length, multilayered and fabriced dress.   All of it took about 10 minutes - my ideal max for vanity.  This is a style I wore quite a bit a few years back and decided to resurrect it today.  I am not sure if I look more like a woman on holiday in Bali or a boho on the streets of Boulder but the bending of hair and fabric to create something personalized, yet simplistic, feels the proper uniform of this day.  There is a scent upon the fabric as if I wore it long before and left my fragrance behind.  Its a blurred shade of sandalwood or patchouli - something earthy, yet fresh, which completes the experience of wearing it.

I am writing on our portico, have forsaken the coffeeshop this week in favor of this quiet corner of my life.  The girls still sleep inside, though morning is closer to noon.  My friends Penny and Stan passed on the street earlier, their daily morning hike, but didnt see me here; this yard my wooded umbra.

There is an early storm circling about the mountains this morning, coloring the sky in indigo and fog.

The heavy cream I use in my coffee has severed from its french roast partner and now tells the tale of more writing than sipping this morn.

I have yet to turn on the front fountain so I hear the waterfall out back where Doug walked in the dew this morning before he headed to the office.  I sensed last night in conversion his alertness to the fact that soon we will be distanced by continents and swirling seas, this man and his maiden.  He will be farther from home than he has ever gone, and yet closer than he has ever been.  I can not explain why Compassion would send a contract employee, whose contract has expired, who declined their created job offer, to represent them with their church partners and pastors in Rwanda.  But they are.

The hummingbirds I wrote of weeks ago now have the sugar water cocktail they desired.  And they have brought their long beaked friends to share the party.  At any moment there are 4-5 at every feeder in our yard.  Sorbet yellow, grass green and a shyer brown - Peyton can name each species.  Sometimes they fly near me as I sit and write, hovering as if to the be first to see the next word I will choose, what today my craft will bear.  It makes me smile every time.

I was asked yesterday why I love summer so much, why I decorate our home for it and talk of it so often, even write of it here.

Simply put, summer, to me, is a taste of the Kingdom.  Summer is fruit, warmth, light, rest, play, wonder, festival, joy, reunion, holidays.  The Kingdom of heaven, Jesus told us in story upon story, is a banquet, a homecoming, a joyful reunion, a festival.  The writer of Hebrews says the Kingdom is a true Sabbath, a sustained and restoring rest, a full and final reprieve from lifes misery and drudgery and loss.  Summer is exactly that in my life.  It is a time for enjoying others, enjoying God... without reserve and without apology.  It s a time for rediscovering the sheer pleasure of being a woman, of being alive.  This is time of year when a gardener relishes the abundance of a garden without need to hoard it or feel guilty about it...so it is in my life.  Abundance isnt for trusting in, its for enjoying.  Summer isnt a time for striving for deeper, its a time for enjoying...the deeper will then come naturally.  

Some I know carry a residue of Protestant angst that makes them feel guilty if they feel good or enjoy something deeply..thus the questions yesterday about why enjoying summer so much.  This is odd to me considering we follow a Savior who is borderline obsessed that His joy fill us to overflowing.  Odd, given  we worship a King whose first miracle was to turn water to wine, for no greater reason than that the party might go on.  Odd, given that we take our ethical cues  largely from the apostle who wrote, "Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord!...Rejoice, in the Lord always.  I will say it again, Rejoice."   I see a lot of words thrown at these ideals... but few living them.  Summer, to me, is living it.