There came a Day at Summer's fullby Emily Dickinson
Original Language English
There came a Day at Summer's full,
Entirely for me
I thought that such were for the Saints,
Where Resurrections be
The Sun, as common, went abroad,
The flowers, accustomed, blew,
As if no soul the solstice passed
That maketh all things new
The time was scarce profaned, by speech
The symbol of a word
Was needless, as at Sacrament,
The Wardrobe of our Lord
Each was to each The Sealed Church,
Permitted to commune this time
Lest we too awkward show
At Supper of the Lamb.
The Hours slid fast as Hours will,
Clutched tight, by greedy hands
So faces on two Decks, look back,
Bound to opposing lands
And so when all the time had leaked,
Without external sound
Each bound the Other's Crucifix
We gave no other Bond
Sufficient troth, that we shall rise
Deposed at length, the Grave
To that new Marriage,
Justified through Calvaries of Love
|-- from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Edited by Thomas H. Johnson|
/ Image by xlordashx /
Something today to honor the Summer Solstice...
So, what do you think she means by a "Day at Summer's full, / Entirely for me --" that she thought was only for "Saints, / Where Resurrections -- be --"? With lines like this, can we doubt that Emily Dickinson was an American mystic? How many of us were taught in high school that she was a morbid spinster? Read her poetry side-by-side with Rumi or Mirabai, and she'll be among her true peers.
I especially like the third stanza. This eternal moment she has discovered is "scarce profaned, by speech -- / The symbol of a word / Was needless..." Emily Dickinson is experiencing complete and profound silence, where the mind stops trying to chop its awareness of reality into manageable conceptual pieces. Instead, the mind at rest, the blissful, unedited awareness of reality floods in. We discover that reality does not need to be clothed with the chatter or conceptualization of the mind, just as the Lord needs no "Wardrobe"... "at Sacrament".
She invites us to recognize that we are each "The Sealed Church" and "permitted to commune" with the Eternal. In other words, we don't need the intermediary of an external church, the true church is already within us and complete. This is the proper place of communion. In fact she urges us to regularly spend time in our internal communion so that when we finally come before the Divine, we are not "awkward." That sacred "Supper" should already be familiar to us.
Regardless of how quickly the Hours slide past -- as Hours do -- when we come to rest in silence and deep inner communion, we find we have returned to the eternal moment at Summer's full.