Summer Solstice is soon upon us, arriving on June 21. As the sun "stands still" (the meaning of the word "solstice") the sun reaches the crowning point of light. As these long days reach their peak, the sun seems to stand still in the sky. At the crowning point of light, the seed of darkness is born and the nights will grow longer. Now the days are long and life is full.
As the Summer Solstice approaches, life is in full swing! This time of year often feels overwhelming for many. I know I am full up! The plants around us are in full green, there’s so much to do in the garden, there’s so much to get done in my life, and so many amazing events to attend. Most of the people in my life feel in a similar place. As the sun reaches its peak and the day is at its longest, life also feels at a peak. Energy is moving outward, and that can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Here in my community of Earthaven Ecovillage, we gather every year at the Summer Solstice to deepen our Swimming Hole. We gather at the creek with buckets and shovels, we get in the water and shovel sand out of the creek and up onto the land. We make a line and pass the buckets of sand up to the land and make a “sandy beach” and then throw the buckets back in the water for those shoveling the sand. It’s a great work party to celebrate the Solstice, celebrate our bodies, and make our Swimming Hole deeper and nicer for the rest of the summer.
After the Swimming Hole Work Party, we gather in our Village Center for our Solstice Ritual, Drumming, and Dancing Circle. We light our fire together as a community, make a prayer for the community and dance and drum around the fire into the night. The next morning, we bring the flame from the fire that has been tended all night up the mountain to light the fire to welcome the sunrise.
It’s great to celebrate the Solstice by moving our bodies and being in the sun. Ways that you can celebrate the Summer Solstice include gathering with friends and family for a barbeque, keep a fire or candle burning all night, and greet the Solstice Sunrise with song.
Another way to celebrate the Solstice is to take care of yourself. This time of year can feel overwhelming in so many ways. As the sum "stands still" in the sky, take a moment to stand still in your life. Recognizing this overwhelm, and taking some time to relax and to be in the moment is important. Celebrating the Solstice can be just the break you need at this time of year!