Spiritually Speaking | Musings

Written by By Sister Mary Thill. Posted in August

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

—Ella Fitzgerald lyrics

It is difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.

—Lewis Grizzard

Take care of the things that take care of you: hang up your clothes; wash your dishes; do your laundry; clean your house; maintain your car… Show them respect and kindness by treating them properly.

—Rami Shapiro


Summer has arrived with days and weeks full of what I would call ideal weather, at least for this part of Ohio. The July days of sunshine, temperatures in the 70s and 80s, low humidity, and fields full of corn and soybeans, not to mention all the fresh food markets sprouting in the city and suburbs are all welcome signs of a much anticipated summertime. I’m not sure what August will be like, but I pray for more of the same.

As I perused my file of quotes and articles and stories, I found I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to use for this article, so I picked a few that really did set me off musing in several ways. Ella Fitzgerald’s lyrics to the famous song from Porgy and Bess seemed appropriate for my summertime mood. I was surprised to learn that her lyrics differed from the original song, and they are the ones I remember best. When the weather is as good as it has been around here, I do think we can find “the livin’ easy.”

August always reminds me of tomatoes. How I miss the taste of Minnesota tomatoes. They tasted like tomatoes as I grew to know them. I can’t find anything around here that even comes close to that “real” tomato taste. So I do find it difficult to think pleasant thoughts while eating what passes for tomatoes in this part of the country. It must be the soil and the seeds or something like that. I’ve already been to Minnesota to visit family and friends this year, so I guess I’ll have to wait another year and hopefully get there in August when the tomatoes are ready for the picking and eating.

The quote from Rami Shapiro happens to contain some of my pet peeves as I look at the world we live in today. I can’t imagine not hanging up my clothes as I was taught to do so since I was a child. My sister, Bobbie, and I shared a bedroom and a closet, and I had the back rack of the closet to hang my clothes. It was a challenge, and I didn’t like doing it, but Mom insisted and it helped me keep my clothes from being wrinkled and helped me find what I wanted to wear each day. It seems that leaving your clothes everywhere in your home, on the floor, on the couch, on the bed, etc. has become quite acceptable these days. Why, I don’t know and find it difficult to comprehend.

Dishes in the sink, piles of dirty laundry, dusty tables and floors and dirty windows, a car that looks and sounds like it’s in need of repair, not to mention a good cleaning inside and out, just speak to me of a certain disrespect for things that help me do my job, help me look good, help me to bring some order to a world that seems to be engulfed in chaos on so many levels. I find it helpful for me to be able to bring some order into my little corner of the world. It helps me to remain calm and brings out a certain kindness in me that a messy, chaotic environment does not.

I hope these musings have given you some thought as to how you view the summertime, tomatoes, and living an orderly or disorderly life. In the end, all we can be is ourselves, hopefully our best selves for the good of ourselves, those around us, and for the good of our planet.

Blessings on your summertime!❦