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.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
It’s summertime and I can’t think of a more appropriate time for “beginning over again”, trying new things, and re-trying old things. This summer is no exception to Fitzgerald’s supposition. The 2021-2022 congregational year was quite a roller coaster ride and I’d prefer Coney Island’s Cyclone! Most of us are weary, some of us are cranky, and we’re more than ready for opportunities to be in community with family and friends, to celebrate milestones we’ve had to postpone time and time again, to breathe deeper, relax more, and enjoy life.
I’ve typically considered the summer solstice as simply the time when the weather gets warmer and days longer. It’s true that the summer solstice marks the point when the sun is at its highest peak in the sky but it’s more than a seasonal shift. It heralds changes and new beginnings. I’ve read that the spiritual meaning of the 2022 summer solstice is about finding balance in your life and mustering up the courage to be the boldest version of yourself. That kind of boldness calls for curiosity and a willingness to try something new. While planning vacations and staycations, barbecues, and lots of outdoor activities, UUCD staff are also busy thinking about the new congregational year ahead – beginning over again but trying new things, and re-trying some old things with a fresh twist. Starting in July, our Sunday Services Team will reintroduce the ritual of dropping stones in water as part of our shared milestones. In September, we’re envisioning monthly community dinners and monthly social action projects for all ages and stages of life. I’m excited to lean into the idea of boldness and new beginnings!
What are you willing to try this summer? Maybe something you’ve always wanted to do but just haven’t mustered the courage until now. Maybe something you’ve done before but it’s been a while. I’m stepping back into the theater as part of the cast for the play Elvis People in Southbury. It’s been a long time since I’ve done theater work but now seems like the perfect time to do it! Let’s encourage one another to try something new, reach out to one another and offer support, and begin again with joy.
With gratitude for summertime possibilities,