In her poem "What the Bird with the Human Head Knew," Anne Sexton wrote, "Abundance is scooped from abundance, yet abundance remains." That's what my garden feels like this time of year. The grape tomatoes are falling off the vines because I can't pick them fast enough. The romas seem to have all ripened almost at once (they're in the basket, under the cucumbers and acorn squash). The watermelons are the only thing ripening in orderly sequence, and are they good! I haven't watered this garden once, and it just keeps producing. My herbs are thriving, as well.
And you know, it's hard for me to believe that this isn't exactly the kind of abundance that God intends and wishes for all of us. If God creates such abundance in a vegetable garden, then surely that's the divine intention for us humans, God's family, as well. It really is the "half-full, half-empty" cliche: you need to know where to look to see the abundance that's everywhere. I'm not sure God intends us to have Cadillacs and home theaters, but I do believe that the riches are all around us, if we only have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to give thanks. End of sermon.
Today I was visited by a new friend, passing through town on her way home from delivering her daughter to college. It's the artist that gave me my black Julian. We had a lovely long visit, and she was very kind to my dogs, who showed their worst manners when they discovered she is a dog lover! I took great delight in spending my day getting ready to feed her: rounds of baguette with mascarpone and sliced tomatoes, gazpacho from garden produce, a salad from the garden and the farmer's market, and grilled wild salmon with yogurt-lemon-dill sauce. There would have been fresh, sweet watermelon from my garden for dessert, but we were both too full to eat it. It's waiting in the fridge for my breakfast. All was served on my mama's good china, and accompanied by some of the best conversation I've had in a long time, ranging from black-tongued dogs to the nature of the Holy Spirit. Wonderful! Heaven! Thank you, Rara, for the fabulous visit.
Tonight I went to the Playhouse with a parishioner buddy to see a Mark Twain monologue performance. I really did enjoy it. Our Playhouse has a large theater, equipped for more high-tech productions, and a smaller, more intimate theater, with seating on three sides. This particular production was done in the smaller venue, where I saw "The Belle of Amherst" several years ago. Those two performances are the favorites I've ever seen there, and I think maybe one factor is the size of the theater itself. I may just also prefer good monologue plays -- I'm also crazy about "The Vagina Monologues," which will never play in this town. I'm really glad I went.
Tomorrow I'm going into Knoxville for a diocesan stewardship conference, and will be doing a presentation in the afternoon workshop (I'm on the diocesan stewardship commission). I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to flex that time and take it off, but I'll figure it out, I assure you!
So despite the brutal heat (it continues in the 90s) and drought, I'm managing to have a lot of fun. I hope you are, too!