Summer Solstice 2013

leveil_du_coeur-largeFor some reason not known to me, I woke up really early on June 20, the day before the summer solstice. I got up and then wondered if I should return to bed because I was still tired.

I hesitated while standing in my living room, my eyes being drawn to our three big windows. It looked really pretty outside, all misty in the moments before dawn, and I decided to go for a short walk. I thought I was too tired to stay out long, but I wanted to experience the magic of the morning when I had for once managed to wake up in time to see it.

I walked, and continued walking, being unable to stop because everything was so beautiful, magical. The birds were in full song, announcing the rising of the sun.

At one point I turned to see the sun coming up behind the mountains, making me really happy. I hadn’t known exactly where it rose until that moment, and I wanted to know because part of my solstice ritual is to take in the sunrise with everything I am.

I kept walking for some time, stayed out longer than an hour. I would stop sometime to watch the trees, the glittering water, the dew on the grass, sun rays filtering through leaves. Then the mosquitos would start to bother me and I would keep moving.

I picked white flowers with a yellow center that I thought would fit beautifully for the summer solstice. Apparently the druids thought the color of the sun was white..

I believe the flower is called oxeye daisy ins English.

On the morning of the solstice my husband got up before the crack of dawn. We got dressed in silence. When we walked outside the sky was a faint, beautiful pink. We reached the little mountain and climbed into the circle of trees and shrubs, and waited, watching the sky in silence. Everything grew brighter. The birds were singing loudly and tiny mosquitos were happily, and annoying floating in the air around us.

The sun never came. That is, it was hidden behind thick clouds. I heard pats of rain on the leaves all around me. I loved the sound, and did not mind it at all, though I wished I had been able to see the sun. We had expected that it might be cloudy after seeing the weather forecast the day before, so we weren’t too disappointed.I feel I will visit that spot many times from now on, and see other sunrises.

Coming home I sat down to sing the Gayatri Mantra, before slipping into bed for a few more hours of sweet sleep.

I wanted to share something with you that spoke to me deeply the first time I read it. When I see the words they go straight to my heart. It truly is how I feel about spirituality.

In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the tree, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. God so made life and all living things that they might by the everlasting word teach the laws of the true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in the sunbeams, in the depths and in the heights. They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. But you shut your eyes that you may not see, and you shut your ears that you may not hear. I tell you truly, that the scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. – Essence Gospel of Peace

What do you think?

How did you greet the summer solstice?

 

 

 

 

Preparing for the Summer Solstice

Petites_maraudeusesMy heart and mind are preparing for the summer solstice. The brightest day of the year. I feel my life is bright in its own way, full of dreams and potential for wonderful things. I feel a responsiblilty to bring my dreams into the world, like it’s not just about me anymore. What if I could help people somehow, in some way? I would love that.

I’ve always wanted to connect with the earth and the stars. I felt there were teachings to be discovered by observing nature, by looking at the constellations. Maybe there’s a purpose to everything, even the smallest of flowers, or the tiniest of insects.

The summer solstice was always special to me, even as a little girl. In a way I grew up celebrating it every year.

In Norway we still hold onto the pagan tradition of having a big bon fire on the eve of June 23, which is not actually the Summer Solstice, though I did not know that as a child. I was told we were celebrating the brightest day of the year by building a fire.

Anyway, we call it St. John’s day and I find it fascinating. I feel it’s a connection to a distant, and much more spiritual past. Now we play games and eat food around the fire, but perhaps in ancient times it was more about the connection with the divine.

June 23 is also my birthday. And of course as a child I loved that I got to celebrate during the day by opening presents, eating cake, and then in the evening to gather with other people from our town around a huge fire, playing games and indulge in more good food.

This year I will get up before dawn on June 21, and be in nature as the sun rises. I will wear yellow and carry yellow flowers to symbolize the sun. Beyond that I want to connect with something deep within myself.

I think many of us have celebrated the Solstices and Equinoxes in past lives, and perhaps we remember something. There’s a feeling, a special longing which we can’t put into words. I want to feel what I need to do, what it is that I yearn for. Perhaps I will sing, pray, or just be in silence.

Do you celebrate the summer solstice? If you do, how do you celebrate it?