Today is the Summer Solstice. Litha. The longest day of the year. Not only an astrological event, but a day that's been celebrated for as long as there have been people around to be thankful for all the sun provides and makes possible. And maybe before people, the plants and animals also celebrated. Although, plants and animals are a lot better than people at making every day a celebration, so not sure if they'd have picked out one day amongst all the others.
Pagans in particular like to take the day to give thanks and ponder how all things under the sun are connected. We're a hodge podge of people and beliefs, so it ends up falling to each of us to decide what aspects of the holiday to focus on and highlight.
Too, mundane life gets in the way - most of us still have to work, do laundry, get teenager's off to football camp - so we also might have to squeeze the holiday into doable bits of time. Tiny celebrations. Like having my breakfast in a sunny golden bowl. Fuzzy pic of my cream of rice - sorry, didn't realize it was out of focus until it was too late to take another pic. I ate it.
I like to think of holidays, any holiday, as more a celebratory season than a celebratory day. Flow into the holiday and ebb out of it slow enough, deeply enough, to enjoy and embrace the meaning. That was a lot easier for me to follow through on when my kids were younger and I had daily excuses to come up with rituals, crafts and activities that would enrich their life. When it's just us grown ups (plus a busy almost 18 year old who we all to often see for only minutes at a time all day) it's easy to get sucked up into the mechanics of getting through life - To Do lists, phone calls, television... - and tell ourselves we'll take the time to smell the flowers later.
I plan to take some flower smelling time today. I plan to celebrate. Not in any big way this year, but in a dozen small ways. And what doesn't fit into even this longest day of the year, I plan to find time for in the next week or so.
I plan to dance.
I plan to spend some time communing with my green friends in the garden.
I plan to eat some "sunny" foods - golden fruits, fiery red foods, round foods, spicy foods, hot foods.
I plan to play with a little fire - maybe a barbeque, maybe a fire on the beach, maybe burn away some clutter in the fireplace, maybe just a candle or the flame on my gas stove.
I plan to spend some time with the fae. Maybe work on my Faerieworlds outfits. Maybe get around to ritually appeasing them and asking for my missing footwear back. Definitely watching my DVD of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
I plan to be even more conscious of the connection of all living things under the sun and to continue to work to live a eco-conscious life.
I plan to wear something "sunny" - maybe bright oranges and reds and golds. Or maybe greens, the color of life. Maybe something swirly and twirly like a skirt or jaunty and round like a hat.
See how easy it is to celebrate? What are you going to do to make today, or any coming day, into a celebration of summer?
I'll leave you with this very celebratory video. Although not specifically a song about the solstice, I thought the visual and the words were a perfect expression of summer joy.