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June – The Month of Energy to Seek, and to Find

Sister Doreen’s Reflections

The Anglican Church Calendar scripture quote for June:

“Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see; eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of God’s being.”

In the Northern Hemisphere the month of June is known as the beginning of summer, and contains the summer solstice, the longest day of the year with the most daylight hours. In the Southern Hemisphere, June is the start of winter and contains the winter solstice, the day with the fewest hours of daylight out of the year.

June’s flower is the rose and its birthstone is a pearl. June has an energy about it, of life and stability and strength. The Oak tree is also associated with the summer solstice in June – again a symbol of solidness and strength. April’s showers and May’s flowers have now moved into fullness of life. There is a stability and a strength about everything around us that is growing: things are bigger and stronger and more well established, sturdy. It is a time when I too feel these same moments of creativity, richness and fecundity, a kind of release into the abundance of life around me and within me. We often experience a winter time, and a spring time in our spiritual life, and the movement of a summer time is a kind of release. I often feel that I am standing in the middle of the year, June, looking backwards and forwards, making this perfect for creating powerful, long-lasting memories. It’s a time that could be described as a mixture of seeking and finding: a beginning title that I chose for this reflection. When you stand in the middle of something or somewhere, you bring wisdom experience as you stand in the present moment, and there is a deep longing for the unknown. It brings with it energy for seeking and finding.

 James Russell Lowell wrote the following poem about June, part of which I share with you:

“And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten …”

It seems to me that June brings with it a time when the struggle for new life during the months of April and May, that searching and longing within, begins to turn into a realization that now is time to explore the more of who I am and more of what I can share. There is a quietness amidst the hurry and scurry of life. It is a reminder of what was written in Jeremiah 29:13 “When you search me out, you will find me; when you search wholeheartedly for me, I shall let you find me.” Looking around in June at the beauty of the gardens, the beauty of the fields, mountains, oceans and forests, perhaps somehow this seems to give me a clearer vision of myself, of others, and of the world we live in. Perhaps, too, just being in the middle – the middle of the year, the middle of experiences, looking back, seeing now, and looking ahead – whether the experiences have been ones of sorrow and darkness or ones of joy and gladness, standing in the middle somehow brings that clearer vision, brings with it knowledge of God who seeks us with great compassion and love.

Joyce Rupp wrote: “The seeking and the finding that we do is actually a discovery of a truth already present. When God searches for us, we receive the gift of seeing how God is already with us. it may be just a glimmer, but our vision is a bit more clear. Our moments of connection, of finding or being found, convince us more and more of the reality of the home within us.”

Midway through the year, as I pause, I know that deep within me there is a deep yearning for truth and peace to overcome the chaos and confusion that is so often part of life, so prevalent in our world of pain, injustice, and anger today. It is there also in times of feeling empty, upset, frustrated, or lost longing for God to find me, and knowing that God has already found me and will not let me go.

The rose, the pearl, the oak tree – the beauty, the preciousness, the strength: these are the gifts that are held out to us, ours to take and to nurture and to cherish. It is a time when we are invited into the fullness of life. It’s a time when we long to be faithful to our truest self, to be healed, to be strong.

In the seeking and the finding, I also experience a gathering, a coming together of the beauty, the preciousness, and the strength of life in me and around me. I share a hymn from “Sing a New Creation” called “Come and Find the Quiet Centre” (#3).

Come and find the quiet centre in the crowed life we lead, find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed: clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes, that we can see all the things that really matter, be at peace, and simply be.

Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace; God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, face to face, making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun, raising courage when we’re shrinking, finding scope for faith begun.

In the Spirit let us travel, open to each other’s pain, let our loves and fears unravel, celebrate the space we gain: there’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care, in the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare!

As we stand in the middle, looking back, being in the present moment, and looking ahead, may June gift all of us with beauty, preciousness, and strength on our journey with each other as we work to gift these to the world in which we live.