To taste July

We quaff the cup of life with eager haste without draining it, instead of which it only overflows the brim / objects press around us, filling the mind with the throng of desires that wait upon them, so that we have no room for the thoughts of death. ~Oscar Wilde

The cup overflows so fast and furious, my feet are sticky with the drips that cascade through my toes and over flip flops all the summer day long. Joy is everywhere we go, at gymnastics class where Rosy's soul expands until it fills the whole room with its radiance, and the little kids do headstands and tumble like weeds in the corner, copying the instructor's every move. In October, I caught fire from a little book and dreamed of a clutter free house, and now finally in the damp July air the seed of a dream flowers full, and our garbage can overflows with broken toys, unmatched socks, scratched cd's and chipped dishes. The wood floors gleam in expanses of emptiness we haven't seen in this house since cancer came to call in 2008. The kids and I stop by the local thrift store today with a truckload of donations, and we sit in the parking lot in fits of giggles over the antics of a blow-up balloon man they use to advertise sales, flipping over and punching himself in the face in the summer wind.

It's the time of year when the summer sun hangs forever in the evening sky, there's the constant sound of laughter on the breeze, the sprinkler sends glitter cascading through the air and the crickets sing a different, mid-summer song.

Love is all hot and sweaty and altogether real, like midnight cuddles with naked kids sticky under the thin sheets with the fan blowing full blast through air as thick as velvet.

We've long since learned to quit listening for the other shoe to drop, and to listen instead for the tinkling of laughter like a spoon clinking glass, the panting of the dog that comes with the smile on her face in the hot afternoon, the smack of a son's kiss through chocolate and vanilla ice cream after snacks on the porch.

The hay's been cut twice, and the corn is higher than any of the kids. The oats are burgeoning gold and the whole earth smells sweet. The cows' milk is like candy from summer grass, and the farmer calls us to tell us our beef will soon be at the butcher's. Summer is half gone before it's half started, but I've never been one to look back at the pages already torn from the calendar.

We are reveling in summer. Every t-ball trick taught. Every bug bite to scratch. Every lake swum. Every frog song and cricket call. Every late night sing-along and early morning walk through the dew-dripping lawn. Every bonfire and every charred hot-dog. Every firecracker, every sparkler. One marshmallow, burnt or brown, at a time.

Oh, how we give thanks, for small gifts and large ones.

Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blessed;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.
~Jesus Loves Even Me, Philip Bliss, 1870~