It’s that time of year in Minnesota where the days get so hot that, unless we are near a lake or swimming pool, we spend as much time as possible in the cool of an air-conditioned home, in front of a fan, or in the shade of a leafy tree. For those of us who have the luxury of exercising, even early morning walks leave our clothes sweaty and our mouths thirsty for a cool draught of water.
So far, the month of June has provided little rain for our fields, lawns, and gardens, leaving them thirsty for water. After my morning walks around town, and while still in my sweaty exercise garb, I like to give the garden and flowers a good soaking. It feels unnatural to be watering on a daily basis; I tend to think of June as the month of thunderstorms—even tornadoes—that keep the landscape green. But so far, not this year!
Now that the garden is in, Eric and I have turned our attention to providing for our feathered neighbors. We put up a hummingbird feeder and several birdfeeders in front and behind the house. Every morning we see evidence of the previous night’s wildlife activity: metal shepherd’s crooks holding feeders bent over and bird seed scattered all over the ground. I guess word has gotten out in the forest behind the parsonage that there is an Old Country Buffet just waiting for hungry, featherless night-creatures!
As Eric and I cooled down this morning on the back patio after exercising, it dawned on us that like humans, our feathered neighbors also need to cool down in the heat of the day. So, while out running errands, I picked up a couple of birdbaths, and set them up before even putting groceries away. As of this afternoon, no takers yet. But word will get out before long!
With the heat of long summer days upon us, I thought I would share a verse from the book of Genesis that always brings a smile to my face:
During that day’s cool evening breeze, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden. . . (Genesis 3: 8a)
Although the topic of this chapter may be dark and somber—the first sin and its punishment—I enjoy imagining God, just like us humans, out on a stroll in the cool of a summer evening breeze. What would it sound like if you heard God walking in the grass? Would God be wearing sandals, or would God be barefooted? I like to imagine God barefooted, with every step divine toes curling into the soft grass. And how about God’s breathing? Slow and relaxed, taking in the intoxicating evening fragrance of flowers and living earth.
We may be unable to understand God, but, like the author(s) of Genesis, we anthropomorphize God—that is, we tend to give God human attributes. Like imagining God walking in the cool of a summer evening breeze, bare toes digging into the grass, taking in the fragrances of evening flowers and living earth. Anthropomorphizing God in such a way puts a smile on my face, in that it makes me feel akin to God.
Like God, may you find pleasure and peace in the coolness of summer evening breezes!