The first day of summer and the year’s longest day: this time of year also coincides with Father’s Day, and my mother’s birthday the day after. She died almost two years ago; would’ve been 87. I can’t help but think of them, especially of her, after two more recent deaths in our family. Perhaps it’s even harder in this fecund season to comprehend the constant fact that all of us live, and then just as suddenly, we die. Here today, gone tomorrow. A wise friend wrote that death is also the beginning of something new – a truth no matter your belief. Certainly, destruction is the flip side of creation.
Cultures all over the world celebrate midsummer today – weaving wreaths of flowers, bathing naked in streams, and jumping over bonfires – on this day that announces with great fanfare the fullness of the season: flowers blooming, vegetables emerging, wildlife rushing around as if to join the throngs of merrymakers. A day that celebrates and embodies life.
Thinking of my parents again, wandering in our garden, I wonder what better way to commemorate the year’s longest day than by getting close to the earth and nature, enjoying all her fruits, and celebrating the solstice?