ladybugThe Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

Wyoming summers seem to many to be fleeting. There are many online jokes about how beautiful that one day of Wyoming summer is. But of course, there is a season where school is out, and the weather is warmer, and we have reason to mostly hope for no snow (though I am always reminded, when I say this, that Wyoming has had snow every month of the year in the past).

We are a year round church, and in the summer is when many folk visit from other parts, wondering if they can make their home in Cheyenne. Having a healthy liberal religious community is often what sways a decision. So our worship calendar remains a central focus during the summer.

Additionally,we’re launching our important Cottage Conversations, and the summer is heavy with planning for a very rich and full new church year, with trainings for leaders, small group ministry emerging, new online and in-person class options, and our engagement with Soul Matters themework.

There are several things coming together for me personally this summer. It’s Ani’s last summer before she hits double digits. Our family, after four years here, has not yet traveled to many of Wyoming’s natural treasures. I have a huge backlog of ministry books to read.

Between four and six years in a congregation, ministers are eligible to take their sabbatical time. UUCC is not financially prepared for a ministerial sabbatical, and there’s too much work ongoing for that to be a good idea at the moment. However, I am going to be taking a good bit of my vacation and study leave time – something I have not done since joining you. I plan to make this summer a time of rest, study, natural wonders, and full engagement with the waning wonder of my youngest daughter’s childhood.

May this summer also be a time of rest and renewal for you, too. In all things, it is the balance between work, rest, spiritual nurturance and family/friends that makes it all worthwhile. There’s always so much more work, community activity, cleaning, and so forth we can do. Here’s to finding a balance that makes your life rich and full, without draining away your joy. What will you do with your one wild and precious life?

See you in church!

Rev. Audette

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