This peripatetic month is full of martyrs, of women, the wet and the dry saints from India to Sweden. Here summer shifts into fifth gear and cruises. Slavery is exposed. Such freedoms as we know tanned in the dilating sun. Exposed, like Thomas, to the doubt of all seasons. Such doubting is no sin but rather the necessary bite of one who would be fully alive.
Children, weary with the weeks of learning, and who are now way past the skills of smiling, push and shove their way to the term's end. As the month ripens like strawberries and school's out. The month soon drifts away, its meaning lost in the vacuum of vacation.
Heat may come, or rain... July is not fussed about living up to expectations and we too, enjoying the long evenings, the hopeful weekends, forgetful of our own obligations, cannot be fussed either.
This is the month of hopeful Barbecues and we grill the call to work, to faith, to achieve, on the charcoal of ideas and decide we’ll leave it ‘til autumn. Now is for spritzers, beef burgers and too many rolls.
We grab the break, hive off on holidays, fill the space with the clutter of doing, wishing we need not. But we do it anyway. Soon we have lost those eternal days and the month, short changed, as always, gives way to the next.
We have walked the summer and found it not nearly as warm as we would like, yet too hot for us to be content. It passes all too soon.
James thunders his way to Agrippa’s sword. The Magdalene, reputation soiled as always, together with Margaret, remind us that women, too, are fit to slay dragons. And in the balmy evening of a Bethany or a Winchester, the rain stops and Lazarus comes forth, and Jesus’ women, the Marys and Martha, hug with joy. Only Benedict reminds us of the orderliness of faith. Those dominical saints are too busy celebrating the man truly for all seasons, all places. But July is too sleepy to notice. It yawns once or twice and slips away.