Seizing the Solstice

solsticeI have the grand luxury of being able to watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan.

It’s quite astounding to me  — and I never get tired of noticing — the way the sun appears at a different point on the horizon each and every morning. There were 20,000 revelers gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the longest day of the year. I sat in my living room and drank coffee.

Hail, Great Hot Pink Ball of Fire! Today’s sunrise was a stunner. Happy Summer Solstice!

From where I sit, our Constant Sun rises every June 21 at a point on the horizon at Montrose Harbor, a spot north of downtown Chicago. Starting tomorrow, the sun will appear just a little south of that point and move a little farther south every day until, at the end of summer, it will show up on the horizon around Fullerton Beach. By the Winter Solstice on December 21, it will look to me as if it’s rising downtown near Navy Pier.

And so it goes. The sun travels up and down the horizon, making its way back and forth, step by step, day by day, inch by inch, over and over and over again. It does what it needs to do. It seems like such a relentless trooper. How crazy the spinning Earth must look to the Sun.

Sometimes I try to tilt my body the same way I imagine Mother Earth is tilting so I can better understand where I am in the universe. And then the realization sets in that I am spinning around really fast in the solar system. It’s too big of a concept for me to get my head around. I feel both painfully inconsequential and absolutely thrilled to be part of such a vast space-time continuum.

Nonetheless, welcoming the longest day of the year is always fun, especially when there’s a little ritual thrown in.

At dawn, I paid tribute to the sun with a made-up pagan prayer and my own extremely awkward version of a yoga Sun Salute.

Tonight I’m hoping to dance around a Maypole or a bonfire — someone will have something going on in the park tonight if it only stops raining. If it doesn’t, I may have to settle for  an indoor spin around a collection of burning candles. But yes, a dance is absolutely in order for the Summer Solstice….and a sunset cocktail, too, a summery one with fizz and fruit.

Frivolity aside, the reality of the Solstice is this: We’re already six months into the year.

And the Giant Shining Life Source in the Sky seems to be asking, “What’s left on your TO DO list? Tomorrow I start setting a little bit later every day. Time’s a’wastin’!”

Yes, Mr. Sun, you’re right. It’s time to seize the day.

_________________________

Related articles:

Yoga Sun Salute: http://www.wikihow.com/Do-the-Sun-Salute

Stonehenge Party:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2345638/Summer-Solstice-2013-Revellers-rise-dawn-celebrate-drumming-dancing.html

Solstice Cocktails:  http://www.ahistoryofdrinking.com/wordpress/2012/06/20/an-excuse-to-drink-summer-solstice-cocktails/

4 comments on “Seizing the Solstice

  1. Alison Jobling says:

    You’re lucky to get such glorious sunrises. We get some pretty special ones here, too: the crescent peeps over the crest of the Adelaide hills, and spills rays that look very much like renaissance religious art.

    Of course, I see all this while I’m driving in to work, so while it’s uplifting, it still means I’m heading for the office. 😦

    • Gloria says:

      Thanks, Alison, for your comment, checking out my site, all you do for the biodiversity blog — and for that lovely description of the Adelaide hills. Now I’ve been looking at photos of them this morning. Beautiful!

      • Alison Jobling says:

        I can’t decide whether I like the misty ones or the clear ones best – the clear ones are brilliant, but the misty ones have cloud hanging low over the trees and tendrilling down into the valley.

  2. Gloria says:

    I love the way you describe the misty clouds as “tendrilling.” And I bet Mother Nature would approve of that poetry as well.

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