Sunday, June 28, 2020

"sun-burned, or sun-blessed..."

"here comes the sun,
here comes the sun,
and I say,
it's all right..."

Could there be a better keynote some for this post than the Beatles' classic: "Here Comes the Sun?" I think not.

It happens every summer. Someone arrives at the door of my cabin to talk about sunburns, sunscreen, and extended exposure to the sun. I can never help myself from gazing off towards the flower beds, that hug Valerie Lodge and remember...

It was more years ago than I can remember. That summer mid-July days in Colorado had been particularly hot and dry. And although late afternoon storms offered respite -- dark clouds, strong winds, heavy downpours, it was only for a few minutes. Then back to bluebird skies and bright sun. The cycle was dependable.

Earlier that summer - before staff and campers arrived - a crew of volunteers had turned the weedy flower beds into a riot of texture and color. By late July, all that work had paid off. There were columbine, pansies, lupine, iris, bleeding heart, and my favorites - poppies.  And the poppies were thriving. I love them all - icelandic, oriental, California, Flanders. My favorite though were the pale blush petals of the Helen Elizabeth palaver poppies [shown above] that dance on their tall stems with every breeze.

This particular day - like many of the staff and campers that summer - my shoulders were particularly tender from a long day in the sun. As I listened to the young woman on my porch - concerned about her sun-burned face - I watched a lovely pale-petaled poppy swaying to the changing direction of the breeze. And in an instant I saw what would alter my sense of things - forever.

There was the most delicate flower in the garden, reaching her face towards the sun. It was a very, very hot day, and the sun was blindingly bright. But she wasn't turning away or seeking to hide behind the shade of a neighboring flower's shadow. She was actually seeking the sun. Turning - ever so gradually as she followed the sun's trajectory from east to west across a bluebird Colorado sky.

Her delicate pale peach petals were not singed or brittle from the heat. In fact, they were even more beautiful. More lovely. How were my shoulders -- or that camper's precious, freckled, up-turned nose -- any different. Any less protected by our love for the sun.

I was immediately flooded with this passage from Psalms:

“The sun shall not
smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night..."
I got it. It was suddenly so clear to me. We are all made of the same spiritual substance -- from a blade of grass to a star. There is only the substance of Soul. The substance of beauty. 

Mary Baker Eddy tells us that "All nature teaches God's love to man." If that lovely, graceful poppy could stand in the bright sun -- hour-after-hour without her delicate petals being burned -- so could I. And so could that beautiful camper. 

Immediately on the heels of that realization, this definition of "sun" from the Glossary in Eddy's  Science and Health came to mind:

“SUN.  The symbol of Soul
governing man, — of Truth,
Life, and Love."
Suddenly it seemed ludicrous that the Sun -- the symbol of Soul governing man -- could be harmful, pain-inducing, or destructive. The stinging in my shoulders completely abated. I was free. And not only was I free of the negative effects of a long, lovely day in the sun, so was the camper.

The sun - the symbol of Soul governing man - can no more injure us than it can harm the delicate petals of a poppy. Elsewhere in Science and Health, Eddy says:

"The sunlight glints
from the church-dome,
glances into the prison-cell,
glides into the sick-chamber,
brightens the flower,
beautifies the landscape,
blesses the earth."

We can only be sun-blessed.

offered with Love,


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