With the Sun at its zenith, Summer Solstice, called Litha in the pagan tradition, is the first of the harvest festivals for the year. If you’ve been to your local farmer’s market, you know what I mean. Vegetables and fruits are arriving faster than you can pick them!
Not only is Summer Solstice a time to give thanks for the bounty of Mother Earth, but a time to give thanks for the bounty of so much more in our lives. This is a time of deep reflection and gratitude for all the joy and blessings in our lives. Family, friends, play, work, Mother Earth herself – and so much more – are gifts for which I am so grateful.
For 51 years, I have celebrated an odd summer tradition. I make a sandwich made with a home-grown tomato, “begomed” in mayonaise, on store-bought bread with tons of pepper and salt. I pour a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Then I settle down to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird. I read that book the first time the summer I was 12, and it has come to represent almost all of what I hold dear – the honoring of the elders, the comfort of tradition, the wonder and mystery of childhood, and a deep and abiding belief in the worth and dignity of every being on this planet. This year, more than ever, I dedicate the rereading of this amazing book to those values.
On our dark days, when the world seems fraught with fears and dangers, we need more than ever to offer gratitude. It is when the world seems darkest that the sun can shine most brightly.
So roast some squash, eat some peaches, spit some watermelon seeds, drink lemonade, have some summer fun, and say “Thank You” to the turning of the Wheel.
Photo: Deb Bowen