Sep. 21, 2010

Sweet Summer Days

by Dennis Caraher

The summer sun is nearly done
Frost will follow soon
Asters and chrysanthemums
Light up the afternoon

The dew is on long after dawn
Mornings are a haze
One swallow's song is holding on
In these fading sweet summer days.

We flew across the ocean
Some fell into the sea
God will choose what we will lose
Though we may disagree

We come here to be mended
That we may find our way
We pray that there's redemption
In these fading sweet summer days

Summer months comfort us
The sun comes with sustenance
We live for its lingering light

Days slip away from us
Katydids and crickets hush
We drift into lengthening night.

We were once our children
Too soon they will be us
All they ask, a simple task:
"Remember how it was".

We hold them close, we let them go
We watch them fly away
And if we trust, they'll come to us
In these fading sweet summer days

Stars they are innumerable
We'll never know them all
But nature's not immutable
Every star will fall

And one day, I'll return to thee
And all that will remain
Is the beauty and the certainty
of these fading sweet summer days

"Sweet Summer Days" by Dennis Caraher. © Dennis Caraher, 2010. Reprinted with permission of the author.

It's the birthday of the creator of Penguin Books, Sir Allen Lane, born Allen Williams in Bristol, England (1902). He was one of the first people to publish high-quality literature at low prices. At the time, only the lowest forms of literature were published in paperback, adventure stories and romance novels, and they were rarely published in England. Publishers thought that if the public wanted high-quality literature, they wanted it to be beautifully bound so that they could keep it forever. Lane realized that more people might want to read good books if they were more affordable.

The most famous book he ever published was D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1960), which sold more than 3 million copies after a trial for obscenity.

It's the birthday of Sir Edmund Gosse, (books by this author) born in London (1849). He was one of the most well-known literary critics of his lifetime, but today, he's remembered for a single book he wrote, Father and Son (1907), telling the story of how he spent most of his life hiding his lack of faith in God from his deeply religious father.

It's the birthday of science fiction writer H.G. Wells, (books by this author) born Herbert George Wells in Bromley, England (1866). He grew up poor, and failed at being a draper's apprentice and pharmacist's apprentice. Eventually, he ended up in teaching. He started writing articles about politics and science, and occasional short stories, and he was working on articles about the possibilities of extra dimensions when his editor suggested he turn the ideas from his articles into fiction. So in 1895, he published The Time Machine, a short novel about a protagonist called only The Time Traveler, who builds a time machine and finds himself in a world where people have evolved into two distinct species, the workers called the Morlocks and the useless upper class, the Eloi.

Wells was just 29 when The Time Machine was published. It was a big hit, and he became a prolific and popular writer. In the next three years, he wrote The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Wheels of Chance (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).

It was on this night in 1823 that Joseph Smith Jr. (books by this author) claimed to have been visited by an angel named Moroni, who told him how to find golden plates that contained the text of the Book of Mormon. Joseph was visited five separate times during the night and early morning, in his family's log cabin home near Palmyra, New York. He wrote later: "While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness."

Moroni explained to Smith that there were golden plates located near his cabin that contained the true Gospel, which had been told "by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants." The angel himself was one of these ancient inhabitants, who had been brought by God to the Americas from Jerusalem, about 600 years before the birth of Jesus.

Four years after he was first visited by Moroni, in 1827, Joseph Smith was allowed to take the golden plates and translate them for the world. He called the language that they were written in "reformed Egyptian," which he claimed was the language that had evolved from Hebrew among those people whom God had brought to America.

In order to translate from this "reformed Egyptian," Smith used stones he called "seer stones." He finished his translation by 1829, then according to Smith, Moroni took the plates back. From the translation he published The Book of Mormon in March of 1830, at which point Joseph Smith Jr. was just 24 years old. A month later, Smith was starting up the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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