Sunday, August 12, 2007


Around the corner stands a small Russian Orthodox church: Protection of the Holy Virgin Church. It is a tiny building but its blue onion domes help it stand out in this neighborhood of low-slung Eichler homes.

Something else makes it stand out: at 10:00 (ish) every Sunday morning, Protection of the Holy Virgin Church's bell tolls. It's not the deep, throaty toll I remember from St. Johns when I was growing up. This bell sounds more like the bells I heard at Buddhist temples in Kyoto. When I first heard the slightly tinny, high pitched ring, I assumed a neighbor had some sort of bell or gong. This is California, after all. One day, I was passing by the church and heard the bell. I'd found the source of my Sunday morning call to be present. I just heard again a few moments ago and wanted to share.

The Dog Days of Summer

The last few weeks have been filled with tinkering. I have been reading and writing. I've been cooking, drawing and picking up the camera more, too. This is all good progress but the words and images seem to stop in the physical world, not quite making the jump to the web.

I attribute this desultory wandering among topics and activities to the dog days of summer. I've never been a big summer fan. I remember long, sunny days curled up on the patio of our Midwestern home, endlessly reading books and sipping iced tea from a dewy glass. Those were happy days, indeed, but I'm happier still when I have a purpose.

August just doesn't lend itself to purpose. The month feels betwixt and between. The hot weather slows me down. The kids have completed their summer reading programs. We're down to a final week of day camp.

The beginning of the academic year always shakes out the cobwebs. It's the kids that are in school now but the turn of the year brings new energy for me. I relish mapping out the calendar, choosing activities, making sure shoes fit and ensuring that everyone has a warm sweater for the cooler fall mornings. The coming of fall brings new energy to my personal projects as well as renews my professional perspective. Soon, very soon, it will be time to get in gear again.

Just writing this and thinking of fall quickens my heart. I think I'll kindle that spark of energy and see if I can't cheat the season a bit, muscling through the next couple of weeks so I'm very ready for my favorite season. One of my summer goals was to live more in the moment. I've made good progress at that. I'm just feeling that familiar tug of fall, of future purpose and energy, and I cannot resist.