It’s the longest day of the year up here in the Northern hemisphere. I have always loved the long days in Ireland, with the sun still offering light as late as 11:30 pm. It was a bit tricky getting young children to bed some years ago, but now summer is a couple of cherished months of basking in lovely, light evenings.
What does “light” mean? The absence of darkness; a speed (about 300,000 km / second); electromagnetic radiation perceivable by the human eye; the opposite of heavy; a good mood.
What makes me feel light? Eating lightly – fresh food, not too much. Walking outdoors, not too fast nor too slow; a wander. Reading an uplifting book; stories about overcoming. A smile beaming at me; laughing with a friend. Having time off; having space to do nothing; or doing something new, a light challenge like learning a few guitar chords or painting a picture just for the fun of it. In the darkest of winter, the security of a hot drink by a warm fire does it.
I’m not alone, judging by the poem, below, by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Creativity, socialising, being outdoors, slowing down. Those seems to be the themes for me. What about you? What makes you feel light? Can you do any of it on this Solstice day, to mark it? If nothing else, close your eyes and take 3 slow breaths. It’s amazing how that can lighten the mood, the day, the weight.
Wishing you a light-filled solstice,
In Summer Time
When summer time has come, and all
The world is in the magic thrall
Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
To fits of drowsy indolence;
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow’rs aflush,—then most I love
To start, while early dews are damp,
And wend my way in woodland tramp
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Where pathways meet and pathways part,—
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Till wearied out at last I lie
Where some sweet stream steals singing by
A mossy bank; where violets vie
In color with the summer sky,—
Or take my rod and line and hook,
And wander to some darkling brook,
Where all day long the willows dream,
And idly droop to kiss the stream,
And there to loll from morn till night—
Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The summer sounds, and summer sights,
That set a restless mind to rights
When grief and pain and raging doubt
Of men and creeds have worn it out;
The birds’ song and the water’s drone,
The humming bee’s low monotone,
The murmur of the passing breeze,
And all the sounds akin to these,
That make a man in summer time
Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.
Joy springs all radiant in my breast;
Though pauper poor, than king more blest,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
And rings aloud the welkin blue
With all the songs I ever knew.
O time of rapture! time of song!
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
‘Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.