BECAUSE IT'S JUNE
There is much yet to be done.
by Susan Craig
June is the most contradictory month of the year.
It is full of endings—the end of the school year, the end of high school, the end of spring. And it is full of beginnings—the beginning of summer, the beginning of vacation, and the beginning of more marriages than any other month.
June is when Father’s Day comes around—a time to find gifts for men who want nothing, have everything, and will be disappointed if you choose the wrong present.
June is when spring flowers fade, and the grass in the yard begins to turn brown in the sun. It is when mosquitos emerge in full force and temperatures start to soar.
June is the month of garage sales and new projects around the home. It is when the swimming pools are finally open and the snow shovels are finally, confidently, stored away.
In the traditional Church Year, June is the season of Pentecost—the time when scripture lessons and sermons focus on the Christian church’s early history—after Christ’s ascension. The season of Pentecost celebrates the growth of the early church with readings from Acts, Luke, and the many letters of Paul. It signifies the end of the church’s infancy and the beginning of taking on the responsibility of the Great Commission to spread the Word.
In mid-June, Juneteenth commemorates the post-Civil War emancipation of Texas, Again, endings—of the war, of slavery, of one way of life—and beginnings—of reconstruction, of freedom, of a continuing journey toward equality.
Situated smack-dab in the middle of the calendar year, June is indeed a pivotal month in many ways.
This June is certainly pivotal in my life, as I move from the position I have held for the last nine years, teaching biology at a university in the middle of Nebraska, to a new position as Dean of the College of Science at a university in Austin, Texas—not exactly a small Midwestern town. And, as is appropriate in this most contradictory of months, my emotions regarding the move are mixed. I am leaving a town I love, close family and good friends to take on a new challenge in a new place. I alternate between excited and terrified…between foot-dragging and eagerness to be on my way.
Essentially, of course, my primary stance is positive—if it wasn’t I would never have accepted the position—but the persistence and strength of the desire to stay has been surprising to me. It sneaks up on me at odd moments.
I will be out running errands—a mundane, everyday sort of activity—and suddenly the beauty of this place will strike me like a shaft to the heart. The things I haven’t done, the places I haven’t gone, the photographs I haven’t taken all rise up like a chorus of avenging ghosts chanting, “How can you leave? How can you go? There is much yet to be done!”
Indeed, there is much yet that could be done. It will always be that way. I have come to see that it should always be that way.
There is no end to beauty, once you open your eyes to see it. There is no end to opportunity, if you are willing to hear the call. Whether you are a “stone doomed to rolling,” as Tolkein’s Gandalf once called himself, or a deep-rooted bloom-where-you-are-planted soul, there is always much yet to be done.
It is the privilege we share, and the responsibility we carry—to do the things that are yet to be done in whatever venue we find ourselves—to make this world, our lives, and the lives of our families better, more useful, more productive, more joy-filled.
What will June bring into your life? There is much yet to be done!