The world is full of promise and it never seems more so than in late spring. The flowers are making an appearance, the trees are in flower, the bees return, and the birds are dive-bombing you to stay away from their nests. There is a whisper that seems to call and remind us of the days that have passed and the days yet to come, that they will get here and we don’t need to rush them, no matter how much the world may be telling us that we need to keep moving if we don’t want to be left behind. Benet refers to it as the “divine languor of late spring”.
We often think of the lazy, hazy days of summer, but late spring invites us to pause and reflect, consider and plan. Perhaps it is plantings, trips, or just how to spend an afternoon. Nature calls to us to really see what is going on around us and not just speed through our days in order to get the next item ticked off the list. But the invitation is there, so why not answer, even if for only an hour or two?
But unlike the call of May, God calls us in all the seasons of our lives. We can’t hear if we don’t allow ourselves to find the silence to hear though. We can’t reflect if we don’t carve out the time to do so. God waits for us to find that time, but I wonder sometimes if God gets a tiny bit frustrated when we repeatedly don’t. Life certainly involves making a living, but living is more about making a life. And that is something we have to do as a master sculptor does – inch by inch, finding out who we are, discovering our passions as well as how to feed our soul as much as we feed and care for our bodies and our loved ones.
Now, while “there is neither past nor vague hereafter” we should take spring up on that untouched invitation and let ourselves listen for the still small voice of God urging us to be all we can.
I lie stretched out upon the window-seat
And doze, and read a page or two, and doze,
And feel the air like water on me close,
Great waves of sunny air that lip and beat
With a small noise, monotonous and sweet,
Against the window -- and the scent of cool,
Frail flowers by some brown and dew-drenched pool
Possesses me from drowsy head to feet.
This is the time of all-sufficing laughter
At idiotic things someone has done,
And there is neither past nor vague hereafter.
And all your body stretches in the sun
And drinks the light in like a liquid thing;
Filled with the divine languor of late spring.
Stephen Vincent Benet