The Summer Solstice happened this morning at 11:54am eastern time here at Rumi Wasi Sanctuary, bringing us across the threshold of the longest day of the year into the first days of summer. The wind is strong, carrying an unseasonable coolness. The sun is also bright and warm, with promises of all the blessings summer brings ~ days of swimming in rivers and lakes, slowing down to enjoy the warm season, flowers in bloom, gardens ripening their bounty.
I grew up with a garden, and though I found little joy in sweat, dirt, insects, and carrying heavy things to and fro, I found magic in the world of plants. I remember sitting in my grandmother’s house, snapping green beans, shucking corn, and shelling beans known only to me as “shelly beans” or “October beans” ~ all harvested from her small garden behind her house. She made freezer jams, and canned everything from sweet pickles, pickled beets, green beans, tomatoes, and other things that were not brought out for little kids to enjoy. Memories of the bounty of her garden, and the flowers surrounding her humble house, still live in my bones, calling to me in my blood: put your hands in the soil and enter sacred relationship with the green growing world. It will always take care of you…
Now, my own house is surrounded with the magic of flowers and plants, and though most of our land is virgin mountaintop forest, we have a very small garden in which I, too, grow food plants and sunflowers. These things heal my heart and soul from the sicknesses of modern western culture, returning me to knowing the truth of what I am, a simple human living in reciprocity with Pachamama.
While we gather community here at Rumi Wasi to offer Despacho Ceremony regularly ~ and did just a few days ago in honoring the Summer Solstice ~ my own heart calls me to be present in this very moment of seasonal transition, to honor this time celebrated as holy in so many older cultures in the world. Summer Solstice, the return of the light, sunlight extending past 9:00 pm, the promise of new life thriving and growing, both in literal, life giving ways of growing food to nourish us, and in metaphoric ways of choosing to remember that no matter what happens in life, the light returns. Nothing is static. Every time of darkness is balanced by a return to the light. Every time of challenge is matched by a time of greater ease. Trusting this, remembering this, aligning with this ~ as I made my offerings in honor of the Summer Solstice, these were the essential life principles I called into my heart and mind. Pachamama takes care of us. Life takes care of us.
Invitation: Either today, or sometime this weekend, find some time to go outside and be in the natural world ~ even if that’s just a small park or garden in your neighborhood. Notice three things in your environment (or more, if you like) that bring you joy and nourish you in a meaningful way. If it seems appropriate and respectful, gather some nature items from this place, and arrange them into an offering in some small way. You can use leaves, flowers, nuts, branches, stones, shells, or whatever seems harmonious and brings you joy. As you arrange these items into your offering, call to mind the things you are grateful for in your life, the ways that Spirit has taken care of you during the last months of transition from winter to summer. If you’re called, you can also sing, dance, or meditate once your offering is complete! Also, feel free to invite others to join you in this offering ceremony ~ it’s always fun to see the creative ways we can offer our gratitudes together!