Thursday, June 21, 2012

Know what today is?

Technically the summer solstice is just an instant - the moment in a year when our hemisphere is most inclined toward the sun, or something like  that, which I could explain much better or maybe at the very least understand if I had taken astronomy instead of bio.  Anyway, today the sun is at its highest point in the sky and we get our longest day of the year.

There are lots of traditions around the summer solstice (a.k.a. Midsummer), including bonfires, festivals, and the ancient belief that golden flowering summer plants like calendula and St. Johns wort would have miraculous healing powers if picked on the Summer Solstice. In Seattle, of course, they celebrate with nude cycling.

I may not be picking mystically charged herbs or riding my bike nude today, but I appreciate anything that makes people stop and take notice of our earth. In the U.S. it's easy to settle in to an air conditioned bed at night after a trip to the climate-controlled grocery store or a day at work in a windowless office. To me, the magic of the summer solstice is the invitation to connect with the natural systems and patterns that make our world work.

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