As a kid, I can recall long summer days on the beach when my brother, sister, cousins, and sometimes just random kids would spend a better part of an afternoon helping to dig a hole to China. It was largely a group effort, the attempt being short lived if you were solo. Invariably, however, we would be shoveling madly, with our plastic jelly bean colored diggers when we would hit water. I suppose that’s what would happen in real life, if you tried to dig to China with big fancy high-tech equipment, your hole would eventually fill up with water.
Still the concept behind digging to China (besides keeping gainfully busy on the beach) was the idea that we could create a portal to take us to another place, a foreign world. What would they think of us when we showed up in our bathing suits and pail and shovels? Where there children in China at that very moment digging to Cape Cod? What would we eat? How far do you think we have to go; how far do you think we’ve gotten? We would discuss all sorts of thoughts like these while digging.
It’s summer. Summer is a time for the imagination to run wild. Good ole’ Will Shakespeare knew this only too well. He let loose a host of fairy fantasties and sultry shenanigans in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“The cowslips tall her pensioners be/In their gold coats spots you see/Those be rubies, fairy favours/In those freckles live their savours/I must go seek some dewdrops here/And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.” The fairy’s description of cowslips as gentlemen who wait upon the fairy queen.
Whether you are revisiting the surreal world of Alice in Wonderland this summer or are, like The Beach Boys dreaming of an Endless Summer; I, for one, second that notion. The pulse of life, the green on the trees, the warmth of the sun, the joys of being plant or animal, all revels in the present moment during this time of long days. We’re not waiting for summer to be over. We’re just happy it’s here. Anything is possible, anything can happen.
We can plant a garden, build a castle made of sand, sit on a beach all day and read a novel, bike, swim, sail, and row….or we can simply be. The whole of it is just like one giant prayer. Mystic and theologican Meister Eckhart once said that if in your whole life you only said one prayer, “Thank You” that would be enough. I’ve heard this many times. Right now I mean it, Thank you.