Ahhh, Summer!

For everything, there is a season. And for every season, there are words to describe that season.

As the season of summer shows its telltale signs–like the blankets of dandelions, the fragrance of barbeques and the blush of sunburns—I am reminded of prose and poetic words that speak of summer’s attributes.

In the early 1600’s, William Shakespeare penned Sonnet 18, which he entitled,
“Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Shakespeare used images in nature—“rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” and “the too hot eye of heaven”—to describe the memories of a beloved one who is in the summer of her youth.

In the early 1900’s, the American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar composed a rhyming and lyrical piece, which he titled, “In Summer.”

Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies’ soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.

And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air’s soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.

I envy the farmer’s boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.

He sings to the dewy morn,
No thought of another’s ear;
But the song he sings is a chant for kings
And the whole wide world to hear….

Paul Dunbar drew from his memories as a farmhand on Southern plantations to create poetic portraits of summer on a farm.

This summer, The United Church of Warsaw will uniquely weave prose and poetic words into Sunday morning worship and a biweekly Bible Study. Three special events will spice up summer at The United Church: “A Summer of Psalms,” “Favorite Hymns and Carols” and “Christmas in July.” [See adjacent article for more details.]

Ahhh, the season of summer is upon us. And The United Church of Warsaw is celebrating the season.

With each of you, I look forward to celebrating summer in our own faith community.

Beside you in the journey of faith,
Rev. Barbara