“When we speak of magic we should speak of those moments that were the purest, when the stars were bright and the laughter was loud. Those are the most magic moments in life.” Welcome to out midsummer solstice adventure.
Around our house …
Celebrations are done with fire.
Cleansing is done by fire.
Canning is done with fire.
Its only been a couple hours since everyone left but the embers to the campfire are still keeping my toes warm at 1 in the morning. Curled up on the lawn chair staring into the fading flames gets the mind rolling. Gets one thinking about the night that just unfolded and the first six months of the year that has just passed. Hard to believe that its already June and the nights are getting increasingly longer. It wont be but a week before the shift will happen and the sun will start fading. Why is it that summer starts when the sun starts heading dark? A question I will never understand. Until the darkness comes again the best thing to do is live each day in the best way we can and enjoy the company of friends around the campfire – and that is what we did tonight.
The summer solstice has always had a special place in the hearts of many. The earth is at its fullest, the sun is at its highest and the beauty of nature has reached its full splendor. All most everything that is planted and growing is at its peak of freshness in the garden, the leaves are greening and the blooms are busting open for the fruit that will come in just a couple more months.
The solstice has been celebrated since the beginning of time. The longest day meets the shortest night and the growers spend a major amount of time outside in their fields tending their crops and waiting to see what the earth will produce. The long days are perfect for the growing season. We all do better in the hot summer sun, just as the plants we grow, we stretch we strive for better things. We get excited that our gardens will yield the perfect amount of veggies and fruit so that the preserving can start and the winter dinners wont be so bleak. Right now, in our garden the spring crops are setting their seed while the cool crop seeds are started in the shade.
Humming birds are fighting off the bees at the feeders, the black boys are laying dazed in the shade of the trees and the ocean is giving us the lowest tides of the year. There is a beauty that extends to every living thing, a glowing sense of virility and the most powerful heartfelt laughter can be heard from the mouths of happy people everywhere. Summer has her magic and she know how to use it on us.
We have an interesting way of celebrating the passing seasons and the passing of time. Not in the normal pagan or Christian ways, neither will you see normal celebrations that resemble much of anything from any culture but what you will find is all the above with a twist. To be an attendant to one of our campfire celebrations you must bring an attitude of adventure. You have to bring a wistful-go-with-the-flow time schedule. There is no rushing out on one of our parties. You just never know what you will find to do next or where the next laugh will come from and you will surly not understand why your laughing but you will leave at the end of your night scratching your head and thinking twice about some of the things that you do believe to be true. You will question your sanity or mine for that matter but you will be thankful for the hours spent around the fire with some strangers and some perfectly good long life friends. If you are ever handed a specially made invitation to one of our parties any one that has been before will tell you that its not something to just pass off.
Our solstice gathering this year was mixed with the graduation celebration of David’s third and last man-child. The crowd was a mixed bag of teenagers, twenty somethings, and our adult friends. So to keep things a little under control and a not so far out there we celebrated with food, lawn dice, abundance prayer sticks and of course sparklers. The man-child requested bbq chicken, potato salad, beans and bacon, and dad of course had to have his Rolling Rock. An interesting game of lawn dice started with the kids – I didn’t quite understand what it was that they were playing but if I had a bigger glass of punch I may of joined in. Maybe.
At one point during the early evening everyone gathered around the fire for their instructions and heartfelt thanks for coming to the gathering. Everyone received a piece of driftwood, a piece of paper, a piece of lilac purple lace and a sharpie. With this in hand they were sent off into the garden to gather thoughts and whatever they wanted from the garden’s foliage to make their abundance prayer stick with – nothing was off limits. Not even the gooseberries!
Once the sticks were bundled and their prayers written we sent the messages off into the universe with the flames and the slight southern breeze. We had a good couple hours to talk and laugh, to be gathered amongst our fellow family members and catch up on each others lives since it had been a few months from Candlemas. Everyone’s year has been progressing, some goals have been met while others were put on hold for new and exciting adventures. Some goals will take a little longer to accomplish but the summer night around the fire was a great time to renew our thoughts towards those goals and a great opportunity to start fresh, to renew our energies and to connect with a great support system.
As the night drew on and the sun set lower, the fire burned brighter and my heart began to over flow with kindness, with a sense of overwhelming love for the group of people that were surrounding our hearth and home. I sat back and listened to the jokes, watched that laugher become tears and was very thankful for the time of kicking back and observing the people around me. This is exactly what makes my heart sing. Conversation. Connection. Community.
Then it all changed.
Three long skinny boxes emerged from the darkness, it was a sigh of wonder kinda moment. One of those moments when the gruffest of men melted, the strongest of women giggled like little girls. Each on of us had a light, a sparkler of hope that glimmered but for a few short nanoseconds before the glittering flame vanished but in those seconds we lit up the darkness with our hands raised high for all to see the smiles that was coming from our sparklers. It is very interesting to me that the light can dispel the darkness and still manage to bring joy. Guess that was the plan after all for a single shred of light … to bring hope.
Our secret!? Well our secret is this: nights under the brightest stars, kindness spread without thought, love of friends and family but most of all its the living in the moments that can only be shared with a sense of wonderment and adventure. To long for things that are different, to celebrate in ways that are strange yet unearthly satisfying but mostly its about creating the moments that we know will last forever.