Summer invites us to welcome new beginnings

The past few summers, I’ve found myself gearing up for a move. Such is the life of a twenty-something, when many of us are still trying to figure out where we want to be and what we want to do.

At one point in my life, I would have found this daunting, but I’ve learned to embrace the change and get excited for new opportunities. Moving isn’t the most joyful of activities in and of itself, but as I become increasingly able to envisage a future I desire for myself, it’s easier to get excited about change and the opportunity for growth it presents.

As I begin to plan what I want my new space to look like, to feel like and to consist of, I realize that my excitement mirrors that of the coming days of summer itself. With its beautiful weather and increased down-time for relaxation, summer always presents a chance to take a deep breath, regroup and renew.

This summer in particular seems to be one of great promise for many. After a year of stagnancy, it is exciting to hear talk of vacation plans, party plans and even, dare I say, travel plans. As the sun shines through, we begin to shake off the year we’ve just had and welcome the gentle breeze of the coming months.

There is an underlying layer of joy to everything we do these days. As we slowly begin to gather together once again, each moment is a prayer of gratitude. This natural movement of life seems that way again… natural. And we realize how resilient we are as humans, how we can adapt and change, how we learn what we need to and move forward. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Mark 6:34).

We emerge, faces toward the sun. Things are new and different. It may take some longer than others…but we can walk with them on their way, giving them the time and space they need, while encouraging them also to grow and adapt.

Parishes and schools around the diocese have begun planting gardens and beautifying their outdoor spaces. St. Anthony of Padua in Fairfield started constructing and planting a vegetable garden with plans to donate the produce to the Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport. Students at the Catholic Academy of Stamford measured, seeded and watered a garden full of future zinnias and marigolds that should bloom in time for school’s return. Doors are open and parishioners are returning to in-person Mass. All around the diocese, life is springing forth.

We have all experienced a world of change in recent months, but my prayer is that we embrace these coming summer days with renewed vigor and hope—of new opportunities…of new beginnings.