Living Joys in the Season of Growth

On Saturday, June 20, at a rocket launch meet, I became distracted by the many-colored life underfoot rather than the engineering feats in the sky. At the launch site near Manchester, Tennessee, It was a sultry day in the mid 90s (Fahrenheit).

 

Fire Milkweed, June 20, Coffee County, TN.

Fire Milkweed, June 20, Coffee County, TN.

 

Behind the launch line, a small Christmas tree farm and the fallow patches edging a vast cornfield allowed a profusion of sun-loving flowers. Fire Milkweed, with its showy orange umbell-clusters of flowers, heralded the sweltering steaminess of the southern midsummer. As the rocketry gathering was held far from any enclosed, climate-controlled buildings, I had no choice but to accept and embrace the life-giving heat.

 

The hazy, humid skies of East Central Tennessee, ideal farming weather.  At the top of the treeline, the Cumberland Plateau is slightly visible.

The hazy, humid skies of East Central Tennessee, ideal farming weather. At the top of the treeline, the Cumberland Plateau is slightly visible.

 

Amidst this unmitigated summer, the wildflowers, and the fields of corn growing tall, I could not help but feel embraced by the fervid heat of the Divine Feminine. Within houses synthetically-sealed and climate-controlled, it is easy to become alienated from the Divine regeneration which lies just outside the door.

 

Ox Eye Daisies, June 20, Coffee County, TN.

Ox Eye Daisies, June 20, Coffee County, TN.

 

It has also been an active summer for cicadas, their buzzing, trilling flight adding yet more life to the season of growth. Peoples of the ancient world, like Sappho from the 6th century B.C.E., lived much closer to nature and had a keen awareness of Divine Providence.

 

Coneflowers, June 20, Coffee County, TN.

Coneflowers, June 20, Coffee County, TN.

 

Here, I quote Sappho’s Ode to a Cicada from from the Complete Poems of Sappho, translated by William Barnstone

“Flaming summer
charms the earth with its own fluting,
and under leaves
the cicada scrapes its tiny wings together
and incessantly
pours out full shrill song.”

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