Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Today is the first day of summer.  As the solstice, it marks the high point in the year -- the day on which we have the most light.  I've always loved this day, but this year it feels more significant.  Perhaps that is because I am taking the time to note the day, rather than rush helter-skelter through life.

A dear friend of mine sent an e-mail sharing the significance of the day.  In it, she shared that the summer solstice is a time of beginnings -- the beginning of a season where we watch the fruits of our labor grow, mature, ripen, and become ready for the harvest.  Perhaps that is why I feel that today is significant.  I am ready to see the blossoms from all the seeds that I have sown turn into something beautiful, edible, nutritious. 

My work life seems to match the seasons.  I have worked to put forth some beautiful programs that will (hopefully) be a success over the next few weeks.  And then I am done with that job.  With new letters of recommendation, a new title, and a new lease on life I am ready to find whatever the next phase may be.  I think that this summer is time to harvest the fruits of my labor.

This morning I was not aware of the date, had not realized it was the solstice.  I awoke and realized that for the first time in a long time the sun was shining and it promised to be a beautiful day.  (The local paper recently published an article saying that this was the second-wettest spring in 117 years. No one had any trouble believing that.  Weather and Life were both overdue for a bout of sunshine.)  Like my lovely Lotus, I am somewhat solar-powered -- we both love the sun (as long as the temperatures stay relatively cool -- we are Pacific Northwesters after all).  Instead of feeling exhaustion, I felt exhilarated.  Instead of dreading the thought of applying for still more jobs (a very labor-intensive process, as anyone out of work will tell you -- especially when the job applications all want different essay questions answered), I had the energy for the task.  I completed multiple job applications and then Lotus and I took a walk around the neighborhood.

I do not know what the future holds.  But I do know that today is full of promise.  It is a day to enjoy and embrace life.  Tomorrow will see to itself if we see to today.  As my friend Marissa said: Be wild and free and alive as a tribute to all you have dreamed to bring forward now.

Happy Summer!

The Summer Day -- by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

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