I always think of the month of July as a celebratory month, maybe because of the 4th and the flush of summer, I don't know. For so many years I spent my summers in summer school socking in the college and graduate school credits, and now I look around awed at the bright and happy bloom of a summer July without a backpack of homework, and no student papers to grade as a teacher. It's amazing what the sweet aroma of grass, planting soil, cypress, rose and lily become when pressure and stress aren't present. I'm working on a new book and when the swath of deep green, eucalyptus, palm and pine smiles at me from my window I breathe a quiet "thanks" to God for this sweet month sandwiched in between a misty June and a broiling August. Swimming is probably my best sport and July creates ideal water temperatures for the swimmer. I went diving (snorkeling) in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy in July, the sun delicious overhead, the water shimmering clear, the world beneath the surface of the sea a treasure of colorful creatures and rock formations. The Minnesota lakes come alive in July and the California coast
brightens as though invited to a grand party, God's party. It's God's July, a brilliant opportunity to thank Him, shout hallelujah and smile. It's July. We've been through some hard times, but we're still here and we're smiling.