By Sister Renee Y.
Ahhhhh, summer! Haven’t you been longing for it somewhere deep inside? Shedding your coat, stowing the ice-scraper, dusting off the beach chairs? Haven’t you been thinking about the last great tomato you ate about ten months ago? The last strawberry that didn’t taste like straw? The last corn that didn’t come wrapped in tin?
There’s a guy who, this time every year, sets up his watermelon stand about a mile from work. He sits on an old wooden chair under a tri-colored beach umbrella surrounded by ripe green melons. At the edge of his display perches one cut watermelon, its ripe red inside dripping sweet moisture into the rising summer heat. Parched and exhausted, a thousand weary laborers pass this quenching invitation everyday and many, including me, succumb.
Understand, this is no simple watermelon vendor. This is a man who knows the truth: it is what’s inside that counts. It is what’s inside that will ultimately draw or repel us from any reality. When the surface is cut, what is revealed? Ripe beauty or the tart disappointment of a too hasty harvest? Oh yes, there are lessons to be learned from this silent wise man under a rainbow canopy.
As we travel through the stages of our lives, we must learn to wait. There will be autumns and winters and springs and each will carry its own flavor into our hearts. In patient reflection, we learn to absorb the gift of every season. We learn to savor what our life is teaching us because nothing is without its precious lesson.
Someone ripened by this kind of wisdom is a gift to the world, whether that world is vast or fits under the shadow of a colorful umbrella. Each one of us has the capacity to become such a gift. May the gifts of this summer help us along the way.