Where did summer go?
We might say it went up in flames and smoke with all the wild fires in the Western states and provinces.
We could probably say summer was lost in the winds and waters of two major hurricanes in two weeks.
Both are true as well as tragic events all over the world. But that’s not all of summer this year.
Summer was a time of vacations and time off from work if personal circumstances allowed it. Twilight over the Olympic mountains was later and so walks along the Sound could be joyous moments. Trees and plants reached their full splendor. A few thunderstorms came rumbling through to add some excitement to the season.
Now we enter autumn and the promise of winter and hopefully another winter of rain and maybe some snow. The season of autumn comes, the leaves begin to change color and that ‘feeling’ of fall arrives for each of us.
Church went all summer, of course, and thanks to the staff and volunteers who could make Sundays exciting and evocative. Meetings of various committees and groups went on but perhaps with a skipped meeting or two in July and August.
Now, we begin again.
Ingathering is a very common Unitarian Universalist welcome to autumn. Most of our congregations celebrate an official return to all who have had various summer adventures. Ingathering is a celebration and a ritual of returning to our common ground and faith.
This Saturday will be the welcome back Ingathering BBQ and picnic. Sunday will have a special ritual of blending the waters of our summers into one container that carries all our symbolic stories of the summer season. Please feel welcome to bring water from your travels, a faucet in your home, or water that we will have ready for you to add to a basin at church. That water will be combined with the water from past water ceremonies in 2015 and 2016.
We will then use that water to do child blessings this year and other important rituals in the life of Westside UU.
Welcome home, Westsiders near and far. You are blessings for us all in this age of anger, reactivity and isolation. May this year at church have gifts of comfort, celebration, inspiration and doing our parts to heal the world.