Growing up in Christian circles, the natural calendar was barely a blip on my radar. If anything, June in Texas was commemorated by the Great Pilgrimage To The Nearest A/C. Solstice was something pagans celebrated and therefore Christians did not.
But I’ve started to look more deeply into the rhythms of the natural world around me. Living in New England has made me more keenly aware of the seasons than the South and Southwest ever did. As I think about the values and culture I want to pass down to my kids, I’m realizing that rootedness is a huge part of it.
Rooted in faith.
Rooted in truth.
Rooted in the beauty and rhythms of the natural world.
Why aren’t the solstices and equinoxes just as celebrated as the comparatively arbitrary “holidays” on my calendar? Not just by Pagans or Christians, but by our culture at large?
These quadrants of the year are THE archetypal markers of time passing, seasons changing, light and darkness.
For many years, I marked the beginning of a new year by watching the sun set on the old year and rise on the new one—or one or the other. But maybe I’ll begin doing that on solstices instead. Every season has a sacredness and a life all its own.
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. All life is showing off its flamboyance. In much of the northern hemisphere, the growing season is in full swing, and it’s hot—the sun’s fire is burning bright as ever. It’s both a carnival of life and a recognition that all this buzzing cacophony of light, color, and sound is going to burn and drift away with the coming of autumn and then winter. Solstice bubbles over with echoes of the story of life told in the Bible. It shows us with our eyes and all of our senses that light is victorious over darkness. It’s the apogee of creation, fertility, and warmth.
I’m going to start finding ways to make our own solstice traditions so we don’t lose the significance of that amidst our ignorance and “Christian” fear. Any suggestions?