July 15, 2022
“Truly happy persons…are like a tree replanted by streams of water, which bears fruit at just the right time and whose leaves do not fade. Whatever they do succeeds.” Psalm 1:1a, 3 CEB
This summer, my pruned, fed, and treated-for-pests plum tree produced a bumper crop for the first time in three years. Just before we left on vacation, the plums began to ripen. By the time we returned home, the tree was loaded with plums, far too many to consume and no one, it seemed, was interested in taking any when I offered them at church.
I got it into my head that I could try my hand at making plum jam as well as plum liquor. I made a dozen jars of jam. I am enjoying the jam on bread. The liquor needs at least 2 months to age before it can be tasted, so how that goes remains to be seen.
I was so excited that I had dreams of trying out other recipes, but overnight, the tree was done producing fruit. Plants produce fruit in their season. This is the time of year when home gardeners are zealous about sharing zucchini, squash, and cucumbers. And then, before long, the season ends.
You are familiar with the Latin phrase carpe diem. It means seize the day, enjoy the plums while you have the chance. That is what the spiritual life is like as well. Sometimes I get so busy I am too distracted to take the time to notice and pay attention when evidence of God’s presence is right in front of my face. The Samaritan on the Jericho Road stopped to help a man who had been beaten and robbed by bandits, while two church officials passed by on the other side. (See Luke 10:25-37) Immediately after saying that parable, Jesus visited his good friends Mary and Martha. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, while Martha was distracted by the many tasks of hospitality. She got grouchy and resentful, and complained about Mary’s idleness. She missed the evidence of God’s presence right in front of her (See Luke 10:38-42). Paying attention can lead to action, like the Samaritan and contemplation, like Mary.
And it can lead to making jam at just the right time.
I need your help and reminders, Holy One, to experience what you are doing in this season. ~ Anne