From yesterday’s President’s Welcome:
Happy Summer Solstice! Summer officially began this morning at 12:45. Last night was the shortest night of the year, and today is the longest day. This is as far north as the sun will rise on the horizon – for the next few days it will appear to stand still, then it will start rising a little farther south each day, and the days will begin getting shorter.
Well, that’s interesting, John, but what does that have to do with us? One of the readings in our hymnal contains the famous words attributed to Chief Seattle: “the Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth.” The creation myths of our ancestors tell how we were made from the Earth. The Great Story of evolution tells how we grew out of the Earth, and how all living things share common ancestors. We are all connected, and the future as well as the past of humanity is inescapably intertwined with the rest of the natural world.
But increasingly, we live lives that are separated and isolated, from the natural world and even from each other. Days like the Summer Solstice remind us of our connections to all our relations; remind us that we really do belong to the Earth, and remind us that without the sun, there would be no life on Earth.
So when you go home this afternoon, go outside for a few minutes – you won’t melt. Feel the warmth of Summer, see and hear and smell the beauty of life all around you, and if you feel so moved, say a prayer of thanks for the Sun.