Summer Solstice

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, today is Summer Solstice.  Also known as Midsummer, today is when the sun peaks to its highest point in the sky. It is the longest day and shortest night. From here, daylight will begin to shorten and we begin the journey to autumn and winter.

sunflowers, sun

The word Solstice originates from Latin, meaning “sun standing still”. It is believe that Stonehenge was built to help establish when the summer solstice occurred, as the sun rises on Solstice at a particular point on the horizon that can be viewed from the center of the stone circle. If you stand outside at midday, the sun is directly overhead and there is barely a shadow cast. Since living creatures cast shadows, and only spirits have none, this day was traditionally seen as a day where people were closest to resembling spirits in our mortal reality. The Druids believed this day represented the marriage of Heaven and Earth.  As with Halloween, it is seen as a time when the veil between the physical and non-physical worlds is thin, allowing easier communication between the two worlds. In Celtic tradition, the Summer Solstice is a time to celebrate nature, fertility, the Earth and her ever-changing seasons as part of the ‘wheel of the year’.  People thought the world have celebrated Solstice to honor the sun, and to mark time. As with other ancient cultures and traditions, it is also a reminder of the journey of life, an acknowledgement of the cycles of time – birth, childhood, adulthood, old age, death.

bachelor button, bee

This post also marks a milestone of my writing, as this is the 100th post of this blog. For 3 years, I have been sharing my adventures in urban homesteading. When I started writing, I wanted to chronicle my journey on trying to live a more simple life, focused on self-sufficiency in a modern day world. Reaching this 100th milestone makes me pause and think about why I continue to write, while there are thousands of other blogs doing the same thing I’m doing, but quite a bit better. In terms of the blogging world, this is not a successful blog, as I’m not earning money nor do I have tons of followers. But for the few that do read this (thank you!), or perhaps someone in the future that stumbles across this, I still write because I hope to serve as an inspiration. I hope that by me sharing my experiences of growing my own food, cooking from scratch, and generally living a type of life that I value, I might inspire you to take a chance to try one of these things. I am not from an argarian society, my grandma did not teach me to knit, I am not prepping for dooms-day. I’m just a regular person, learning these things as I go, because I like to learn and it makes me feel closer to the Earth. To those who leave comments, or those who silently read these words, thank you for joining me. I hope that my desire to inspire you is in fact, shining though.

sunflower

Today marks the day of both endings, rebirth, and is the day that the “sun will stand still.” I encourage you to go outside and to absorb the brightness of the midsummer sun.  Let us ask for the sun to shine upon anyone who is feeling a lack of light, and giving thanks for the sun which sustains us.

bachelor button and sun

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful
 
than the way the sun, 
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats towards the horizon
 
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone-
and how it slides again
 
out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a read flower
 
streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance-
and have you ever felt for anything
 
such wild love-
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
 
that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you
 
as you stand there, 
empty-handed-
or have you too
turned from this world-
 
or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?
 

Mary Oliver, “The Sun”

 
 
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7 thoughts on “Summer Solstice

  1. Happy Solstice! That red sunflower is something else. And I do so look forward to your posts. Thank you for continuing to write them 🙂

    1. thanks! Isn’t that red one awesome? I had a random package from Seeds of Change that I got free from somewhere, and stuck them in the squash bed. I love the variation from the orange of the other ones

  2. You are an inspiration my dear friend; and I do enjoy reading what you have to say. More times than not you have taught me a thing or two about a thing or two. I hope I can do the same for you. Enjoy the sunshine you deserve it! Love,
    Mare Curtis

    1. Thanks Mare! Might I inspire you to take a super annoying and bendy black kitty home??? 🙂 Hope your chickens are doing well!

  3. I think writing a blog is a personal thing and usually the best ones are written from the heart, like yours. You should keep writing – I find your blog heartening because I know that there are other people out there who do care for the planet and wish to show their guardianship of this amazing planet too.

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