Out in my garden, bumble bees are humming around the raspberries. The roses are in full bloom, and the grass needs to be mowed yet again. Things are busy, but calm. The garden as settled into its summer growth time. Things will be steady now until the next major change at the harvest, and into fall. Solstice is near.
Here in the north, high summer is upon us. Days are long (if not leisurely), and we revel in the light. My friends in the south are celebrating the longest night, along with the deep darkness and winter’s rest.
Whether summer or winter, solstice in nature is a slow-ish time. Although the days here will gradually begin to shorten over the next several weeks, we won’t really notice that much has changed until August, when all of a sudden, we’ll realize that something intangible has shifted as the seasonal round moves on.
No matter how busy I am, I always pause at solstice. I just stop for a moment, for an hour, and simply be. Earth and I are both busy on our journeys through seasons and years. But here and now, we both slow our pace just a little. A natural spirituality practice at its best involves entering into conscious and awakened relationship with the Earth, and honoring the solstice is a way to cultivate that relationship.
I encourage you to spend some time with Mama Gaia this solstice. No need for a fuss. No elaborate ritual necessary. Just see what she’s up to where you are. Spend time outdoors. Maybe read a poem or two. Maybe write one yourself. Most of all, just be. Step away from your normal routine, just for a while. Breathe slowly. Match your rhythm to that of the Earth. The world with all its problems will be there when you return, I promise.
The bees in my garden still meander their way around the raspberries. They don’t seem to be in any particular hurry. The roses aren’t rushed either. And the lawn? Well, it needs to listen to the raspberries and roses.
Blessings and peace to you this solstice.
Photo Credit: flickr user Hamed Saber at http://www.creativecommons.org/