An Unexpected Sanctuary

Last fall when we re-sodded the back yard, our garden swing was left leaning up against the side of the house. This spring I suggested, “Let’s give that old swing away. We never use it.”

Tom frowned, “Maybe.“

A few weeks later, I stood on our freshly painted deck and said, “Let’s try that old swing here. We could roll out the awning and enjoy the rain.”

Tom surveyed the width of our deck, shook his head and said, “Swings pretty big but let’s try it.”

Son Dave, helped carry the swing round to the deck. Once in place, I flopped down on it. “Yes,” I said. “This is good. It just needs a few flowers.”

Today our long-forgotten swing brings a patch of paradise to our home.  A colorful basket of geraniums and petunias hangs in one corner. Purple and white Lavatera and clemantis peek through the slats in the railing. Purple, white and yellow flowers spill from the mouth of our old chimenea, another one of those things we haven’t used in years. Bright red geraniums are growing from its chimney. Overhead, white fluffy clouds sail slowly by. In every direction God’s beauty shines radiantly in the summer sun.

August is just beginning and i already I’ve spent hours in that swing, meditating, writing, reading or visiting with friends and family. For the first time, since we moved to Peterborough five years ago, I feel as if I have truly come home.

I believe God knew what I needed and offered it. The deck, the swing, the chimenea, they had all been with us for many years. They have come together with my love of flowers to create my summer sanctuary. I didn’t plan it but I love it. My friends tell me I’ve slowed down a little and I have. Each day I step away from the world for a little while and rest in my summer sanctuary. When I return, life feels better, more peaceful, more precious. I give God thanks every day for this blessing.

Today I’m thinking about you. I wish for you a sanctuary tailored to your needs. I didn’t plan mine. It feels as if it just happened. But of course it didn’t. My suggestion to you is that you keep your heart open for a quiet place, inside or outside. In this crazy world we need our sanctuary places, our places where it feels easy to practice recognizing God’s presence. It doesn’t require a big expenditure. It might require some repurposing of things you already have. I suggest you join with God in creating your special place, your peaceful place, your summer sanctuary.

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