Midsummer day: At the top of the wheel of the year

So today is midsummer day here in the north, the longest day of the year, the shortest night.
The sun is the farthest north that it ever goes.
And I really like to acknowledge and celebrate these basic movements of the sun and the seasons, because somehow it connects us to the natural world.
To be really paying attention to all the details of the weather and the seasons keeps us connected.
It reminds us of being part of this natural world.
Because so much we can really just ignore it if we choose to.
We can live within air-conditioned rooms, heated in the winter, air-conditioned in the summer.
We can carry on in this paved and constructed world without even noticing anything in nature.
We don’t have to worry about wild animals in the streets.
We don’t have to think about how the growing season is going to affect our crops, because all that is stuff that somebody else has to worry about.
If we’re within the system, we can find some way to make our money and then trade our money for the things we need, and we never really are forced to, normally, deal with the natural world directly.
But I like to, as a way of feeling more connected with the natural world, I like to learn about all the seasons and the details of how things are changing over the course of the year.
Now, this is something that will be different for each location.
Each microclimate, wherever you are in the world, your town, your area, you can notice the patterns of the weather, the patterns of the trees and the animals and how they behave differently throughout the year.
And it seems like the more we can learn this, the more we can really help to ground ourselves in this kind of natural reality that can be a good counterweight to being overly immersed in constructed human activities.
But when it comes to the sun itself, this is something that is shared over the entire world.
Of course it drives all these details of the seasons, and you know, it’s the number one driver behind all the weather and the seasons, and the other details come from where you are in the world, you know, compared to the oceans and the mountains, and how you are lined up with everything around, so that the way the air and the water is moving around, and that makes all the details of the local climate, but the sun is the one shared thing that drives everything in the world.
And we see every year, it goes north for six months, and then stops and comes south for six months.
So it really is a big moment in the natural calendar, you might say, where the sun has stopped moving north, right today in midsummer, or in the south, they call it midwinter.
But this is the time when we stop getting warmer, stop getting brighter.
And it’s hard to really conceive of it now, but this is in a way the beginning of the winter, because the sun is now going to just start to be moving away again, and the seasons, the days getting shorter again, nights getting longer again, and even though up here it’ll be a couple months before we even start to feel that beginning of the fading of the sun, this is the moment when in a way, the year has reached its peak.
This is the peak of sunshine for the north.
And of course, everything I’m saying in all this wheel of the year series, it can all be completely reversed for those in the southern hemisphere.
It just completely flip it around, so now it’s midwinter, and everything I say in midwinter is what applies now.
But this is the time when there is a peak of brightness and sunshine and light, the exact opposite of the midwinter, the Christmas.
This is like the anti-Christmas.
This is like the opposite side of Christmas, the full summer, the daytime of the year.
If we look at the year like a day, then Christmas is like midnight, and this is like noon.
So I’d simply like to notice and celebrate this time of year as part of appreciating the passage of all the seasons.
So I hope you are enjoying some sunshine, and that I wonder, do you celebrate this midsummer in some way? And what does it mean to you? So until next time, happy midsummer.
Enjoy the sunshine.

#midsummer #solstice #summersolstice

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