Today feels like one of those summer days when people who live close enough to the ocean long to be at the beach and those who don’t plan a trip to a lake or at least a dip in a pool somewhere. It’s not that it’s steamy hot; it just feels like full summer. Inexplicable perhaps, but clearly present.

Thomas Merton has a psalm in one of his early books, The Sign of Jonas, that gives one that kind of knowing, but in another realm. The wonderful thing is that he frames his praise song in nature so we might catch it more easily, like the deep freedom of diving into the waves on a beach day. See if you agree.

The Lord God is present where the new day shines in the moisture on the young grasses. The Lord God is present where the small wildflowers are known to him alone. The Lord God passes suddenly, in the wind, at the moment when night ebbs into the ground. He who is infinitely great has given to His children a share in His own innocence. His alone is the gentlest of loves: whose pure flame respects all things. God, Who owns all things, leaves them all to themselves. He never takes them for His own, the way we take them for our own and destroy them. He leaves them to themselves. He keeps giving to them, giving them all that they are, asking no thanks of them save that they should receive from Him and be loved and nurtured by Him, and that they should increase and multiply, and so praise Him…