August 1 and 2 are traditional days in many cultures for celebrating the year's harvest that's already in view. By now, seeds planted in the spring -- both literal and metaphoric -- are showing how they're progressing. Maybe there's already "green corn" on the cob, ready for a feast.
So it's a great time to reflect on the first six months of the year. Often the "garden" that has come up has some unexpected plants. Are they weeds or something to treasure? Appreciation and gratitude will provide the answer.
I'm celebrating my own "studio garden" harvest coming along. Below is a preview of one of the "contemporary icons" in progress for this fall. About half the layers on this one are done. I'm aiming for radiance.
Beginning with love
Because it's also the time of year when many of us begin school, I chose today to share one of my traditions: putting an excerpt from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, on the front of my notebooks. I have a lot of binders with clear covers for inserts, so I print this out. When I pull out a notebook to begin work, the first thing I see is a reminder that none of my work matters if I don't do it with love. I'm also reminded that if I do it to boast or to feel good about myself, or if I think I know everything about what to do when and how -- I'm way off track.
Here's the text, with a link to a nicely formatted page if you'd like to print it for your notebooks or for those your kids use. I think that these words resonate across faiths, for the power and necessity of love is by no means exclusive to Christianity.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part;
10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
Below is a preview of how the download looks:
As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.