Living in Britain I’ve always loved midsummer.
Even as a child I welcomed those long, warm, still evenings where the sun lingers in the sky past my bedtime. As an adult I have grown to appreciate the majesty and splendour of the summer solstice and always make an effort to honour the day in whatever way what I can.
Some years I have had the opportunity to dance amongst the ancient monoliths at Stonehenge in communion with the crowds, in anticipation of the sunrise. In other years, where life demands continuity, I have set the alarm super early and created my own personal ritual to greet the dawn.
This year was a particularly special year as my little brother (or not so much any more) chose it as the auspicious date for his wedding. We are both spiritual by nature, but not religious. He asked me to read at the wedding and in response I wrote a poem.
The inspiration came from a deep reflection and significance of the solstice. The word itself is a conjunction of two latin words which means sun and stop, as it’s a time when it appears that the sun “stops” in the sky.
I, like so many of you, are truly guilty of almost bending time to cram in as much as possible. Even when there is a moment between moments we fill it with phone fiddling, social media.
We will do anything at all except allow an empty space in our brain. Over the years, I have developed a meditation practise and the simple thing it has taught me is to “be in the moment”’ as often as I can.
What does that even mean? It simply means to let go of your thoughts and all the distractions that keep from noticing the beauty that is in every moment. It’s always there, everywhere you go, if you choose to experience it.
It is sunlight reflected in a drop of morning dew on a petal, it’s the scent of cut grass in the breeze, the solo swift gliding the eddies high in the evening sky, the pressure silence of the air before a storm. It takes you outside of yourself and reminds you that you are part of the beauty and energy of all that exists.
A good friend, Lila Lolling (spiritual and yoga teacher) says it is, “better to take even a brief period everyday, than to spend three hours once a month meditating.” That frequency, rather than duration will help you to develop a good mindful or meditation practise.
The summer solstice is the perfect reminder to stop and take in the beauty and energy of all creation.
It is an event that has been revered since the dawn of time. It is a time of intense light, warmth, and energy, when life is at its fullest. It signifies reaching our potential and being grateful. It is the perfect opportunity to practise our mindfulness, to be in the moment where we leave the past behind us, and accept that the future has not yet happened.
If you take that moment, you will realise just how much you have, how much you are connected, and how much love is around you.
I dedicated this poem to my brother and his wife and to anyone who can take a moment to pause and reconnect with life and love at the time of the solstice.
I look with anticipation for the first glimpse of the sun on this, the longest day.
With the darkest days behind, the dawn is full of hope and promise.
I feel my heart excite as I think of my dreams for tomorrow.
Then I see the first hint of dawn on your face and I realise I am wrong.
I don’t need to wait for the sun. The only light I need is here in front of me.
In the past we were an opportunity. In the future we are unrealised.
But we are here now, and now in this moment, we are the only truth.
Free of the ghosts of our past and cotton cloud hopes for tomorrow.
The wheel of life turns and the past fades away, but nothing is ever forgotten.
The future lies ahead and the only certainty is that everything will change.
As the first rays of the solstice sun fall on our faces, time for us stands still.
Our souls respond, resonating, vibrating; knowing our love is eternal.
The love that binds us, extends beyond the suns rays into all that is.
The expanse in our hearts could easily hold all of the universe.
In that infinite space, we are everywhere, we are one, and time is ours.
Whatever the past, this moment is ours. Whatever the future, this moment lives forever in our hearts.