Summer solstice, te maruaroa o Hine Raumati, is approaching. The longest day will be here on December 22nd.
Is it on your calendar?
Is it in your awareness?
Why am I drawing your attention to summer solstice?
This, the most glorious festival of the year, is easily overlooked. It tends to get squeezed amidst the busyness of a consumer Christmas, the ending of the academic year, and preparations for holidays.
And yet it represents the fullness of the light, the peak, the zenith of the sun. Summer solstice bestows benevolent rays over the land and her people. It’s a festival for bathing in the light and bathing in love.
I often refer to summer solstice as the season of the heart.
In the northern hemisphere, this season has traditionally been an occasion for large gatherings, for there it falls in June, a month with fewer distractions. Processions, circle dancing, fire wheels rolling down hills, song, and dance are some of the elements of a full solstice celebration.
What can we do in Aotearoa when Christmas parties dominate and no one wants to organise large gatherings in December?
Here is my answer, and you will have your own as well.
One: Remember that solstice means ‘sun stands still’.
Pause to breathe, slow down, and savour the season. Find the place of stillness that dwells inside your own heart.
Two: Make contact with nature.
Maybe this means dipping your bare feet in the sea, stream, or lake; standing on sand, grass, or rock to feel the support of the earth. Or you may raise your arms to the wide open sky. Breathe in spaciousness.
Three: Gather summer flowers
to honour the season of blossoming: maybe pōhutukawa, harakeke, roses, marigolds, or sunflowers to decorate your table.
Four: Create a solstice feast or picnic
of summer vegetables and fruits, especially red yellow and orange ones: yellow courgettes, golden slices of mango alongside strawberry reds, golden capsicum and kumara, grated beetroot and carrot, and more.
Breathe in the goodness of the season.
Let it calm you.
Make space for solstice!
PS I will be leaving town on Dec 16th so please place your book orders by Friday 15th at the latest.