August 19, 2011
By Father Carl Hawver, O.F.M.
Chaplain for the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg Franciscan Center, Oldenburgh, Indiana
Where I come from in southeast Indiana, between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, peonies appear in the springtime of early to mid-May. Here in Juneau, on a recent July morning, a gift of that early day stood outside my bedroom window, catching me by surprise… a good-sized peony bud!
How can this be, I asked myself—this is mid-July! And blustering to the window, “Why everyone knows that peonies bloom in May!” This morning, “sister peony” stood open to the radiant sunshine in all her fullness! And, just eastward, as the earth cascades beyond that fullness—glorious mountains loaded with tall pine trees! And at their base, the Gastineau Channel rippled while exquisite cruise ships rested as sentinels of summer, bringing travelers northwest for the seasonal treasures of summer-in-Alaska—peonies included.
I join in tribute to the One who makes all creation possible: “Let all your works praise you, O God, let all your works praise and exalt you above all, forever!”