“Shine on, O moon of summer … All silver under your rain to-night.” Carl Sandburg

 

GRATITUDE FOR SUMMER

 

As one living on the Canadian prairies, I know that winter cold can stretch from October into June. We often get only a tiny taste of the transitional seasons of spring and autumn. This year we moved from frost warnings straight into temperatures soaring into the nineties. All at once I felt like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s character in The Great Gatsby: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

When daily life has so much sameness, more so during these Covid19 days, newness of life refreshes and holds promise.

We plant seeds expecting a harvest of tasty vegetables and vibrant flowers. We visit the beach and the nearby National Park, and when I can’t walk, we drive. We eat salads, berries and homemade ice cream. The ceiling fans cast strange shadows as they keep our home cool. We are always a bit confused about time when dark doesn’t fully arrive till close to 11:00 PM.

 

DON’T FORSAKE GRATITUDE

 

Yes, there is still pain and lack of ability to be who I once was, but as Ann Voskamp reminds me below, I only make matters worse when I forsake gratitude.

“I have lived pain and my life can tell. I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid summer nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.”

Yes, God deserves our praise and thanksgiving in whatever season we find ourselves.

 

A poem by Carl Sandburg depicts summer this way:

 

Back Yard

 

Shine on, O moon of summer.

Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,

All silver under your rain to-night.

 

An Italian boy is sending songs to you to-night from an accordion.

A Polish boy is out with his best girl; they marry next month;

to-night they are throwing you kisses.

 

An old man next door is dreaming over a sheen that sits in a

cherry tree in his back yard.

 

The clocks say I must go—I stay here sitting on the back porch drinking

white thoughts you rain down.

 

Shine on, O moon,

Shake out more and more silver changes.

 

A POEM OF GRATITUDE

My challenge to you this mid-July day is to write a poem of gratitude for summer.

Here are some ideas to help you begin:

  • Start each line or section with the words “summer is.”
  • Contrast summer with another season.
  • If summer is a hard season for you, write that too.
  • Remember what summer was like as a child.
  • Pick one object that speaks to you of summer, as I did in the poem that follows.
ODE TO MY MOSQUITO NET

meters of white, soft billows fold

bright against incoming dark

how many secrets do you hold

in your protective embrace

mosquitoes cannot penetrate

your life given up for me

you never rest or hesitate

to foil invasive attempts

 

what can I offer back to you

worthy of your sacrifice

night after night you remain true

hour by hour on guard you wait

no words of gratitude spoken

by the one you humbly serve

isn’t your cotton heart broken

by such total disregard

 

so now I’ll lift my voice in praise

to you, of you, for you friend

songs of thanksgiving I’ll raise

never will it be enough

for all you’ve done, will ever do

for me the vain receiver

allowed to sleep the long night through

while you, ever awake

your dreams never come true

 

Pour yourself a tall refreshing glass of your favorite summer beverage, toss in a few ice cubes, and see what words unfold.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

 

You can view our Submission Guidelines here. When submitting a poem, please complete the release form on our Permissions page. Email your submission including a headshot, brief bio, and links to your website, social media, and any book titles you’ve authored as applicable to share@chronic-joy.org.

We look forward to reading your poems!

Karin Fendick

Karin Fendick

Chronic Joy® Poetry Coordinator & Writer

Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, hungry for truth, amazed by love, on the Potter's wheel His work in progress. After five years in Africa, Karin and her beloved husband of twenty years, Rick, are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).

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