Summer Grace

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Summer flowers bloom and open all around. Last week, I spotted June’s first wild daisies waving in the wind. In the weeks before that, iris and peonies competed for best of show, each just about outdoing the delicacy of the other. Crimson roses climb white picket fences and all the world is reassured the time to grow and be and become … is now.

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The cone flowers out front reach and reach some more, inches taller today than they appeared to be yesterday. Waiting. Knowing. Patient. The tiny, two-inch pots of petunias planted last month spread wide now and spill over the baskets hanging out on the front porch. A  breeze wiffles their petals, and the sun’s grace lights their way.

Grace is like that. Grace fills and feeds us. We grow open and tall in grace – all our empty places filled,  all our darkest corners finding light.

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The potted flowers on the stoop and the others out back stretching their roots into our garden soil have only a short season to grow and live at their very best. Last month’s lilacs are long gone now, and the show-girl rhododendrons down the road brown and wither away day by day.

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And while summer’s flowers seem to know their schedule, I’m aware my own grace is a little more unpredictable. Still learning about being open,  I  need to wait too, knowing and patient. Faith is not in the knowing of when; it is in the certainty of knowing – at all. When grace comes, I know I will grow taller and stronger in its light.

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Grace might arrive one morning, all soft whispers, opening me like the gentle unfolding of a pale, pink peony. Or it might show up all cheering and celebratory like a meadow full of wildflowers. Either way, grace opens and readies me for a sort of flowering of my own.

No Fibonacci sequence or pattern predicts the goodness of grace or its arrival. Some seasons, our fields rest and lie fallow. We rest, restore, and rotate our expectations a bit. We make time for this and time for that. We reflect and restore until the day hope’s grace returns, and we’re ready for a whole new season of growth.

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Hopefully, we have more than one season to live at our very best, but this one – this one right here – is a good place to start.

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