OK, so I’m a few days late to be talking about Summer Solstice, also known as Litha. I’m still claiming it as Midsummer, though. The solstice celebrations, with their shifting dates, were fixed to the solar calendar and were given Christian connotations (Christmas and St. John’s Day). Today is St. John’s Day, or Midsummer, and I’m taking the opportunity that I didn’t have on Litha to meditate on the season and what I’ve accomplished during this turn of the Wheel. At Yule, I’ll try to keep silent for most of a day, thinking on the darkness in my life, the better to accept and welcome the light. Here at Midsummer, I try to think on the light in my life, and prepare for the coming darkness.
Now, that sounds rather gloomy, doesn’t it? Preparing for the darkness? I’ve seen plenty written about Midsummer, about how it’s time of triumph of darkness over light, the Holly King over the Oak King. Darkness, decay, death. But that’s not exactly how I see it. When I prepare for the coming darkness, I’m actually looking forward to harvest, to lengthening evenings, to cozy times knitting by the fire, undistracted by gardening and other summer tasks.
Don’t get me wrong — I do love summer, just as I love each season, in its turn, for the things it offers me. Here at Midsummer, my lavender and thyme are about ready to be harvested. Basil and parsley are showing promise. Soon, I’ll be occupied making oregano and marjoram pesto and drying sage for winter.
It’s always easier for me to meditate on the darkness in my life. Perhaps that’s why I identify with the fall and winter holidays so much better. I could sit here and grump to myself about the fact that I started designing some colorwork mittens at Yule, and I’m still working on the prototype now, a half-year later. I could gripe about my overall perceived lack of knitting progress, but I won’t. Today, I want to be focused on the light.
The light is at its strongest now. The sun is associated with strength, vitality, and accomplishment, so I think it’s appropriate to focus on my own accomplishments, aspirations, displays of courage, and competence.
I’m pleased that I’ve been able to accomplish the knitting I’ve managed to finish during this turn of the Wheel, in spite of the fact that I’ve once again had to act for my boss since the Vernal Equinox, or Ostara. So far, I have finished the Charoite Mittens, two baby blankets, the Rosebud Shawl, the Travelling Woman shawl, and a moebius cowl. I’ve got several more projects underway, including Eric’s Aran, which should be done later this fall. I’m prototyping some colorwork mittens, too.
On the home front, my older son is doing well in college and is holding down a paying job while volunteering as a track coach and Scout leader. My younger son is working on his Eagle Scout rank, is volunteering as a Scout camp counselor, and starts high school this fall. My husband is happy and is as awesome as always. My family is happy, healthy, busy, and is engaged in meaningful work.
At work, things remain as busy and as challenging as ever. It’s my hope that my boss will be back by autumn and that he’ll remain so for a good long while, the better for me to maintain my own balance.
As we move toward Lammas, the First Harvest, I’m looking forward to putting up herbs and perhaps making some homemade jam. I’m looking forward to seeing my older son off to his first apartment, to reorganizing the boys’ rooms, and to making progress on my summer knitting.