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Update: 2024

May and June are often my favorite months. Comfortable temperature, lower humidity, greenery, blue skies or nourishing rain, birdsong, frog symphonies and lighter clothing, to name just a few gifts. I learned from Chinese philosophy that after the heavens’ manifest gifts to the earth disappear in the autumn, they return resplendent in the spring and early summer offering gifts for us all to savor and finally harvest, share and store in the late summer.

I write this to encourage us all to keep emerging, just as we see new plants come up and out, no matter their surroundings. These past few years have challenged and limited us, as well as strengthened and expanded us, in ways seen and yet to be seen. We have known fear and isolation, discouragement and courage, hope and disappointment. While we may feel that we’ve moved on, we are likely carrying yet to be fully understood consequences of the pandemic and these politically and environmentally charged times.

I offer this in the hopes that we might get out and experience and learn from how nature emerges in this season and encourages the expression and essence of each new creation. Make plans to stretch beyond the limits of these past few years. Travel-even just a slightly wider radius than you might have recently. If you can’t travel literally, explore new realms through reading, music, film, etc. Socialize-reconnect and make new connections. Reach- for whatever stirs your spirit. Consider also that this has been an especially challenging time for the new creations that are our youth. So many of our young people are often in emotional and psychological distress. I hope we can all find ways to encourage them and point them to their own unique gifts and to those in the world to be experienced and expressed in a full lifetime. Similarly, we have our own eternal inner youth, no matter our age, that needs to be encouraged to keep its sense of wonder, hope and possibility. So let’s enjoy as best we’re able the gifts of this season and those to follow by continuing to emerge and to support our own new growth and that of the next generations.

Michael Phillips