The Summer Solstice means more than just a picnic.
Greetings, one and all! Monday, June 21, 2010 was the date of this year’s summer Solstice. For our Pagan readers, I’m sure you enjoyed celebrating this wonderful halfway point in the year. For the more traditional Roman Catholics, Monday would have been the Feast of St Mary Magdalen, (and of course anyone who has read the Da Vinci Code would have been aware of that). For everyone else, it was just another Monday and the astronomical beginning of Summer.
The Summer Solstice has been an important moment in the lives of Humans for thousands of years. We know this from archeological evidence all over the world—from New Grange in Ireland to Chaco Canyon in the United States. Megalithic sites all over the world have been found to have alignments specifically set up to mark the moment when our planet is neatly aligned with the sun.
Unlike the Vernal Equinox, this is not a time of new beginnings. This is the mid-point, a time of seeing the things we began in progress, of working to an ending we have envisioned, be that in business, our personal lives, friendships, or in the world around us in general. We take a moment to see where we have been and to plan where we are going, to adjust those plans made in the spring and choose our route to the future.
It’s a happy time; the world is exploding with life, exuberantly pulsing with growth and pleasure and yes, with the satisfaction of hard work and knowing we have goals that beckon to us. Like a carpenter building a house, we can see the shape of the finished work. While we may decide to make a few adjustments here and there, the final outcome is not in doubt and we know we will be pleased, like any craftsman.
The Winter Solstice gets more attention, possibly because in winter there is so much less to distract us. The cold forces us into our homes and brings about more introspective thoughts and feelings. We long once again for the bright heat of the sun and eagerly watch for the turning of the world to bring that heat back to us.
It’s here, now, and we revel in it. Summer is an active season in every sense of the word, be it sports, time with family, travelling, or just lolling about getting a tan. The Summer Solstice is about the physical joys in life, just as the Winter Solstice is about the joys of the mind and spirit.
Take this time to get out and spread some of that joy—smile at the girl in the coffee shop, play with your kids, go for a bike ride or pick some flowers from the side of the road for a complete stranger. Crack a joke when it’s unexpected. Do something to make someone’s day in a good way, and be happy when someone does the same for you. Make it good, and good will come back to you. Isn’t that great?