I've been sitting quietly meditating/thinking early this morning about the impact and meaning of today's calendar date: The first day of summer, summer solstice, Midsummer's Night...whatever you choose to call it.
Today is considered the longest daylight hour of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In Seattle, WA, where I live, daylight began with the rising sun at 5:11 a.m. and will officially set at 9:10 p.m., giving us pasty-white, northern dwellers approximately 15 hours and 59 minutes of sun...17 hours and 20minutes of actually daylight. We live for this day in Western Washington.
Most people commonly think of the first day of summer or "summer solstice" as the beginning of a period of fun and frolicking in the heat and sun of the season. It is a time to relax by the water, have parties on our decks, and enjoy the fruits of the season.
But in the ancient earth traditions and religions, summer solstice is actually the beginning of the WANING of the sun and movement from the season of fertility to the season of harvest. After the peak of the sun on June 21st (date varies each year, but generally always falls around this time), daylight hours slowly and methodically begin to dwindle. Summer solstice is a time to reflect upon the growth of the season: the seeds that were planted in the earth and the seeds planted in our souls. It is a time of cleansing and renewal.
I am reminded today many "seeds" have been planted in the earlier part of this year's Wheel of Life for me. Some of those seeds have been nurtured and carefully tended, while others were not. Some of my "seeds" were choked out by lack of water, sun, and other noxious weeds. Summer season is a time for me to focus on the growth of my life that really matters: the fruits of my soul.
My spring season of Multiple Sclerosis felt as if nothing good had been planted and nothing helpful could grow. My garden field seemed like too rough a terrain and climate for anything to be able to push outward toward the light. It has been a very difficult season.
With the summer season upon me, it is time now to do some weeding and watering. It is time now to carefully protect the young stems of knowledge and flowers of change I have sprouted. It is time now to simply let the sun do what it has done for centuries: bring light and warmth to the season.
I believe the chill of winter has passed and the torrential rains of spring have subsided. I am ready to move into this new season of my life...I am ready to emerge on the other side of the darkness of MS and move into the sunlight.