As we end another brutally hot Houston summer, I can’t help but reflect on my last five or so in Texas. Houston’s fall is unlike the fall of my childhood in North Carolina. The leaves here do not blush to red, and the heat lingers. But the evenings are comfortable, and Houstonians begin to venture outdoors for cookouts and fire pits.
I'm reminded of my favorite C.S. Lewis poem. Famous for fantasy novels and apologetics, Lewis is little known for his poetry, but the poem below reminds us that all of creation is a cycle of seasons. Christians hope for a long summer, a summer in which the curse of sin is finally undone, our sanctification is complete, and we dwell once-and-for-all with the Lord. Never again will the heat be oppressive, when the true and eternal summer begins. This poem hangs inscribed on a plaque at Addison’s Walk in Oxford. I would very much like to hear the birds sing this tune, perhaps even in Oxford one spring, and soon.
WHAT THE BIRD SAID EARLY IN THE YEAR
I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.
Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year, nor want of rain destroy the peas.
This year time’s nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.
This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well-worn track.
This year, this year, as all the flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.
Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick!—the gates are drawn apart.