August is here and summer will be ending. We just got our first half case of Colorado peaches, and the canning jars are out being readied for holding a taste of summer we will enjoy throughout the winter. Preserving the peaches allows us to savor the gifts of summer’s bounty. Canning reminds me of watching my mom can the fall produce from her garden and all the tastes of summer associated with the love she shared in the foods she made with her produce.
Savoring the taste of summer can also be a metaphor for savoring moments when we notice we feel the most alive. St Ignatius said, “Whatever you are doing, that which makes you feel the most alive…that is where God is.” If we are open to the gift of all our senses, then we can experience God in a deep and abiding way. The sense of taste in December when the pop of the canning jar releases the scent of those peaches is being alive in remembering the warmth and activities of summer. The sound of the crunch of fall leaves under our feet or the wind blowing those leaves across the lawn or down the sidewalk in October or November reminds us of God’s creation that we experienced in the changing of the season. Of course, embracing winter here in Minnesota is another sensory experience and a reminder that what goes dormant is renewed with new life in the spring.
Through our senses we can experience God and in growing our relationship with God, we are offered the opportunity to savor the gift of this most profound and intimate relationship, based in unconditional love, a love that is not based on merit, it is a love that at times can be a challenge to believe, especially when we struggle with believing we are lovable as we are in the moment. Canning preserves the moment those peaches are at the peak of goodness. Savoring the moments when we notice we are most alive is also a reflection of the peak of our goodness, and maybe a peak moment in our relationship with God. The Spirit is ever present and gifts us the goodness of noticing where God is in our everyday, allowing us to savor the moment when we notice, when we breathe in the gift of the day, in a moment of conversation, a shared story, a deep grief from loss, a healed relationship, or the sweet taste of summer from that jar of peaches. Where or when did you savor a moment in your day and notice…your goodness, God’s presence, or a gift of the Spirit?
Peace and Blessings as you savor the days ahead.