Photo by Mel Elías on Unsplash

The Farmer’s Almanac describes “the dog days of summer” as lasting from July 3 to August 11 each year.  But where does this phrase come from and what does it mean?  For us in the northern hemisphere, clearly these are the days of peak temperature and humidity, and the phrase suggests how we all grow uncomfortably lazy, panting with our tongues hanging out.  Turns out, there’s a different explanation.

According to that same Farmer’s Almanac, “The phrase is a reference to Sirius, the Dog Star. During the “Dog Days” period, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth. Sirius is a part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog.”

Even with a more scientific reason behind their title, the dog days of summer still remind me of how hard it is to get motivated about much beyond finding a shady spot to nap and a steady supply of something cool to drink.  My dog Doug is a prime model for keeping these priorities in place.  He keeps things pretty simple in the heat and tries to keep the excitement to a minimum.  But then, I wonder how much enthusiasm I could muster, wearing a fur coat all day, in the middle of summer?

There is something about the rhythms of the year that naturally make me desire a slower pace in the summer months.  I recognize this is a function of my age and the responsibilities I carry from day to day.  Perhaps the day will come when the expectations I have for a fall or spring day would be comparable to the relaxation I desire in the summer.  How about for you?  Do you hold different expectations of the day’s level of possible productivity based on the time of year?

Starting Sunday and carrying us through Labor Day weekend, we’ll be asking questions like this while exploring the relationship between faith and the passage of time.  How we experience the seasons might just be another way in which we experience the gifts of God built into the created order of things.  Why not join me?  I’ll save you a shady spot and make sure there’s something cool to drink.

May God’s peace come to you this day. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray…
God of summer days, find us in the shade and keep us supplied with everything cool.  May our relaxation restore us once more, to serve you and our neighbors.  Amen.