Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Summer Solstice

It arrived on the East Coast this a.m. at 8:26 EDT, the furthest tilting of the Northern hemisphere toward the sun, which gives us our longest day of the calendar year (and our shortest night), a momentous event since prehistoric times for worshipping the sustainable earth.

O to be at Stonehenge on this morning, that great megalithic sunrise-marker, built to record and trace the movement of the sun through the heavens (though we hear that clouds and rain hid the English sunrise and dampened the Druidic spirit on the Glastonbury Plain this morning). Here in this Appalachian latitude, I and the dogs were out on our walk at 6:30 a.m. and watched the cloudless arrival of our longest day with quiet gratitude, mixed with the scent of wild honeysuckle and the mad running of dogs intent on taking life by the scruff. We were back in our own garden at precisely 8:26 EDT to welcome Solstice (meaning, literally, "sun standing still," which is what it appeared to do to early men and women who had a keen interest in the cycle of the seasons). I'm about to go out and pick sugar peas.

Last night was "midsummer's eve," which in our ancestral British Isles was a time marked by woodland high jinks. We hope that wherever you stepped last night out of doors that you saw Mustardseed and Peasblossom. Not to worry if you didn't. They'll be out again tonight, if you know where to look.

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