Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Best of Summer ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Best of Summer ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

"Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer," went the first line of a Nat King Cole song, popular when I was young. In those days I spent my summers at a nearby beach, and the lazy, hazy part rang true. Now, with a family of my own, the crazy part has taken on new meaning.

We all look forward to summer with expectations of vacation and plans for fun in the sun, but with work schedules to coordinate with visitors and the kids' various activities, I sometimes wonder how we'll find time to experience the simple pleasures of the season.

I realized that I wasn't the only one losing summer to logistics when I tried to organize an overnight camp out for my daughter's Girl Scout troop, and had to go through five rounds of calls and e- mails with the other families to find a single free night from June to September.

The demands of a grown-up life mean that we have to structure our time. But there is a way to continue to have the sorts of experiences of freedom, exploration, and friendship associated with summer. We can uncover these precious qualities in our lives, because they are not created or limited by seasons - they don't originate in clever scheduling and can't be destroyed by over- or under-planning.

A few summers ago, I unexpectedly discovered a more reliable and practical approach to making the most of summer. One remarkably hot day, I was hurrying across town to pick up one of my children at day camp. I felt rushed and annoyed because it seemed as if every road in town were under construction, and the detours meant that I would probably be late and have to pay a fine for extra child care.

With a mile to go and the car clock reading three minutes to pickup time, I got stuck in traffic. As I was drumming my fingers and muttering to myself, a thought came to me: "You don't have to feel this way." I stopped tapping and considered it.

What impressed me was that this thought clearly wasn't part of the train of thought I had been indulging; it was a thought much calmer and more loving, the kind of thought that I associate with prayer.

Christian Science has taught me that even when I'm feeling separate and distant from God, His love and spirit are present. …

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