The birds wake the world with sweet songs and the insects seem to sing in rhythm to the chorus of the trees waving in the breeze. I wonder often how they seem to flawlessly make such beautiful noise together when they all seem vastly different. The bugs and the birds and the bees and the trees, all dancing in harmony through the warm summer sun and rain. It’s noisy, but it reflects peace. I feel calm in the summer air, the world seems to slow to the echo of the children’s laughter. Their dirty feet and wishful smiles remind me of my own childhood. Slow. Peaceful.

I’m propelled back into the reality of the world, quick, fierce, scheduled. Angry and heated like the surface of the sun on a hot, July 4th. When will it stop, I wonder. The arguing the divisiveness the frustration that creeps in on us when we are least expecting. When will the world remember to laugh again and the heart take time to rest, to refocus and realize that life is more than mere selfish desires and drama. When will we stop striving for the next best thing and be content in the moment that is occurring right before our eyes? 

There is integrity in focus. There is character in the drive to be better, to do better and to seek more. But let us not forget that there is joy in simplicity, that material items do not promote happiness if only for a season, and life is best spent when we pursue the purpose and peace that is greater than our own desires. 

We must do better. We must soak in the moments like a child in the summer waves. We must laugh together as friends and family without division and heartache. We ought to pursue the peace that nature infuses as the birds harmonize with the song of the buzzing bees surrounded by the whisper of the trees. Sometimes I think we ought to stop trying to change the whole world. Stop selling what we can’t buy. Start loving those closest to us and choose to chase the joy that propels us into a greater purpose. 

Sometimes I think it all starts with just loving our neighbor.