Wild roses in the pre-solstice evening glow.
Here in the country we are very aware of celestial happenings. Most of us can identify the different moon phases and know the kind of light they shed on the nighttime landscape. Full moons, for instance, mean that events usually held in the day can be held at night. In the summer months there are full moon kayak excursions on the river and hikes on the mountain trails. In winter, it is snowshoeing or cross country skiing by the light of the moon. By contrast, on the dark of the new moon we know to bring a flashlight on any nighttime meanderings. And so it goes each month and through all the seasons marking the passage of time by the phase of the moon or the position of the sun in the sky.
One of the two biggest solar events of the year happens today. Summer and winter solstices are both very different but both really significant and worthy of celebration. The summer solstice happened at 12:24 am EDT this morning and marks the day with the longest sunlight hours of the year. The word solstice itself is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) because at the solstice the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from Earth) momentarily comes to a stop before reversing direction. The pessimist in us might lament that it is all downhill from here. (I must admit this thought always surfaces for me at some point on this longest day.) However, the present moment beckons and with it the giddiness of this day filled with light.
I will be at a beautiful country setting overlooking fields and a lake this solstice evening eating outside with friends. I will probably return home before day turns into night but what better way to mark the longest day of the year than outside with friends.
Every solstice since I have lived on this country property I have gone outside and picked the flowers that are blooming at just this time. My only criteria is that they have to be wild and beautiful. I always pick the pink roses that bloom on our property and along the road. I combine them with the feathery foliage of an annoying weed like plant which is as robust and strong as the sun.
My bouquet this year is not really up to snuff: the torrential downpours and gale force winds yesterday got to the roses before I did. But it’s the thought that counts. Right?
Happy Solstice Everyone!