Summertime and the Livin' is Easy...
"Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly..."
Well, well, well, here we are already…summer solstice, June 21st.
We are halfway through the year, how did this come around so quickly? Yet, here it is and it is a time to be enjoyed and celebrated.
I love the solstice time; it is so evocative. Everywhere is lush, the mood is uplifted and nature is in her glory. I am reminded of childhood magic and indigo dusk and the little people are there before our very eyes.
Solstice is where the sun momentarily stops on her journey through the sky.
It is the longest day and we then begin our passage back (slowly, thank goodness) to the darker months. We are halfway through our year and it is important that we make a fuss at solstice as it is a time to re-energise, harmonise and acknowledge life as the precious gift that it is.
We are probably all aware that on the 21st June at sunrise people gather at Stonehenge.
This is a place of worship for Druids and a time of upliftment and synchronisation for others. There really is this sense of another society, an alternative community, that is directly in tune with the ancients and has the power to make the message from the past contemporary. Are we listening?
We can all do something to honour this auspicious day, this half way marker.
By acknowledging the significance of this moment we are following in a tradition of thousands of years.
SIX WAYS TO CELEBRATE SOLSTICE:
*GET OUT AND ABOUT.
Don’t sit indoors contemplating the Lily! In ancient Greece, summer solstice marked a one month countdown to the Olympian games. This could be the very time to begin that fitness regime you have been promising yourself. Start a new sport or interest. Go on a bus or train ride to somewhere you would not normally visit. Try early morning meditations in the open air. This is about getting the body into harmony and expressing the vital energy from the sun.
Romans used to follow Hestia; her festival is at this time of year. Hestia is the Goddess of domestic life. If you have not sorted through summer and winter clothes then now is the time to do just that.
Try not to hang on to anything that doesn’t fit, needs repairing or is just taking up space for the sake of it. If your desk is an unholy mess (as mine often is) then bin what you don’t need and make a home place for that which you have to keep. Get things into order, start new files and make space on your table. Release yourself from anything that doesn’t serve you.
*PLANT A SHRUB OR FLOWERS.
The warm sun is perfect for seedlings or small plants that could grow more. If you have a garden then plant a shrub or flowers that will bloom in the coming autumn. It is symbolic of your own growth and journey into maturity.
If you don’t have a garden but have a balcony or window ledge then grab a bright colourful pot and plant something that will be a feast for the eyes as the summer comes to an end. Give your plant a name!
Summer is such a sociable time. If you haven’t seen friends or loved ones then this is definitely a time to get everyone together.
Organise an outing, it doesn’t have to be a lavish trip but do include a picnic; if everyone brings a dish then you have got a feast! Think about what you would like to have at your social gathering…a bonfire perhaps or a BBQ or dancing and games, just have fun.
Music provides a wonderful backdrop for those happy summer time memories. Make time to go to a festival or concert, revel in the moment. Maybe you want to learn an instrument, think about getting musical people together and have an experimental jam. Summer is about sounds; birds, waves on a beach, breeze in the trees, add your own beauty to the summer symphony.
*DISCOVER YOUR LOCAL HISTORY.
One can’t help but wander down memory lane at this time of year. For me it is the smell of cut grass or fresh bitumen on wooden fences, these smells always trigger thoughts that take me back. I see solstice as a time to appreciate those who have trod this world before us and the consciousness from which we spring.
Why not pop along to your local library and explore your local history, see how others might have lived or what they did in the hot days of summer. Maybe there are houses or exhibitions to visit or local walks that were a favourite of people in history you could even combine it with a nature walk.
Don’t be too surprised if you find that your area has more history than you realised, explore!