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Happy Summer Solstice!

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(Or standing still in defiance of the fleeting nature of time).

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the start of the midsummer celebration, a time for bonfires and flowers and wallowing in the full height of summer (or the start of summer, according to the astrological calender). My garden is lush and vital, the lavender plants are in full-bloom and vibrating with bees, and the light is glorious, strong and abundant. It’s a time for life, and yet… I always feel just the slightest bit of sadness slipping in. According to folklore, the solstice is the time when the Oak King, ruler of light, life and fertility, loses the battle to the Holly King, ruler of darkness and death. It’s the beginning of the turn back to darkness and winter, and it always seems to come too soon for me, even though I know it’s all part of the cycle. It’s also a reminder of just how fleeting the summer is, and how fleeting the years are starting to feel. Wasn’t it just New Year’s? Is it just me??

Technically, the solstice is the moment that the earth reaches it’s maximum tilt toward the sun, and the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky. It is the longest day, but only by a few seconds on each end, so for a few days, the sun appears to stand still, paused in it’s cycle. I think this year I’m going to take a lesson and try to pause, stand still and soak in the moments. Days and weeks (and months) have been flying by so fast, and I just want to hang on to some of this time, linger for a bit, really focus and pay attention to the minutes that I have.

It also happens that this longest day is also going to be the hottest so-far, reaching 102-degrees, so it’s possible that by the end of today I’ll be ready for the turn toward darkness.

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