At latitude 41.995088 longitude -87.685676, the magic hour has passed.  It was the last one in June.  I watched it from my porch as the starlings darted for insects and the largest dragonfly I’ve ever seen bounced frantically between my building and the one next door coming perilously close to making it into the kitchen.  The last thing I wanted to do was get a dragonfly out of my place and so with the setting of the sun I went back into the apartment and left this creature to its game.

I was disappointed I had not been more involved in the early summer, that time of year when I always come back to life, but I could take considerable joy that this month produced for my friends one engagement, two weddings, and four births.

Now a farewell to June 2013….you did the world well.  You made a lot of people happy and with their great happiness you have made me the same way.

I think of these beginnings.  They mark the start of many Junes, though I don’t know if there can ever be another June like the June of 2013.  Now the sun has set on the month and tomorrow another page is to be torn from the calendar revealing a month where the honeymoon becomes the workaday world, the babies refuse to sleep through the night and a young couple starts to pour through a litany of florists and photographers…..the beautiful beginnings now becoming the beautiful everlasting realities.

Is there anything like the summer?  Is there ever a time when creation makes so bold a stand?  The last magic hour of June has passed and soon there will be the first one of July.  Albert Camus says this is the time that swarms with secret signs.  Natalie Merchant tells us that this is when the whole world is warm, when you see the signs and know their meanings.

So many have seen the signs.  They have had the courage to love fully and say Yes to life.  They have renounced the coldness that says it is easier to go it alone.  They have said let whatever may come….come.   In the actions of June, they have said every cold and callous thing has lost.  They did these things in churches and backyards, in hospital rooms and on the road.  They promised the thing with rings of precious stones and concluded (and begun) the yes with bands of gold.  They did these things in spite of all who call life short and brutish and those who would never ever venture onto a porch to see the world swarm with the signs of magic hour much less have the courage it takes to be married or bring a child into the world.  For these I can only say….may their Julies be as blessed as their Junes and may their springs, falls, and winters this year and in the years to come be as warm for them as the summer of 2013.

Image:   Chicago at Magic Hour, A Creative Commons photo by Seth Anderson