Solitary Solstice

This upcoming weekend will be the summer solstice. Every year I become more anxious for the arrival of the warm, sunny weather that heralds spring in its fullness. But it is the solstice that creates a gateway to proper summer–long, hot, sunny days where I’m not shivering at midday, and the late evenings are ripe for extended hikes. I’ve already been backpacking and spent time in the garden, and my mood has improved considerably over the past month.

Normally on the solstice I have an event I’m vending at. This year my beloved and a friend of ours are letting me off the hook and running the booth for me so I can stay home and get some work done there. So I’ll be working on artwork and writing, poking at a likely pile of dirty dishes, and weeding the garden.

But you know what else I’ll be doing? Watching the sunlight from early rise to sunset. I’ll be soaking up the sun (with sunscreen, of course), and enjoying the light through the windows. I may sit upon my balcony and contemplate photosynthesis as the potted plants turn sunbeams into sugars. I’ll listen to the scrub jays call, and maybe walk around the neighborhood under big old trees.

At this point in my life, that’s more than enough ritual for me. In my earliest years, my very first formal ritual was a summer solstice ritual right out of a Scott Cunningham book. I’m the veteran of several solstice rituals at Sunfest here in Oregon, including in 2013 when I was the ritual leader. And there have been others at varying places and years, all aimed at glorifying the longest day of the year.

This year, though, I look forward to peace and quiet. I look forward to sunbeams and quiet meditation. I look forward to the gratitude for seeing another summer unveiled, and planning adventures in the months to come.

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