cover image Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season

Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season

, , illus. by Barry Moser. . Skylight Paths, $19.99 (257pp) ISBN 978-1-59473-083-2

If at their most basic level anthologies are simply a matter of taste, editors Schmidt and Felch fashion a sumptuous banquet with this, their third spiritual biography of a season (Autumn and Winter ). These pieces are not about summer so much as they embody summer, a season of heat and reach that expands the heart. These (mostly prose) selections lift up an exquisite wholeness found within an everyday sophistication. As Mary Oliver wrote of a summer morning in the excerpted Long Life : "As I say, it was the most casual of moments, not mystical as the word is usually meant, for there was no vision, or anything extraordinary at all, but only a sudden awareness of the citizenry of all things within one world." Oliver resides in equal company alongside the other "ordinary" accounts of Anne Lamott building a sand castle with her son, N. Scott Momaday visiting his deceased grandmother's house and G.K. Chesterton doodling away an afternoon. The volume synergizes such considerable talents, structuring them within five themes: play and leisure, tillage and cultivation, family and community, nature and grace, retreat and return. Each section includes introductory material as well as a recipe, a prayer and, quite fittingly, a psalm. For fans of nature and literature, this thinking person's anthology is a must have. (June)