Rhetorical confusion and half-baked rumination is easily dismissed but often the only way to depict certain aspects of our existence as they really are. The significance behind the solstice, to us, can well be said to be one of those aspects.
May the light, the warmth, the clarity of the sun’s most flawless annual blast rain down upon you and the whole of the world like hailstones of blessing.
May you not fail to mark this season somehow, some way, by whatever methods and means are in alignment with your sensibilities.
Smile, it’s good.
Laugh, it’s funny.
Stomp, make noise, kick up dust – it’s what we’re here on Earth to do.
This is it. Summer solstice. And on such a day in such a season, on a momentous point in the year upon which so much is required and demanded within so little time, there arises the possibility for a certain line of questioning and inquiry.
How long has it been since I recognized the milky way on one of the clearest of nights, saw in its blurry tentacle the easiest reminder of the vastness of this world?
How long since I last watched the morning star’s rise over yellow and turquoise eastern pine tops, beaming at me to the tune of the earliest rising birds?
All, the same, what of the nightbirds, the creepers, the foxes, the rapidly transmogrifying moon and its kingdom and all the lands beneath it? Nobody ever remembers the nightbirds.
Such things decline to hold my absences against me. I see in these, traveling through the tunneling vortex of the enormous wonder they portend and emerge from the other end to be confronted with my own reflection. That’s when I realize I have no real day-to-day concept of what is actually going on.
And in a sense, all of creation led up to that moment and place, that of the flaming mountaintop that led to the era we now know as today.
When it comes to these things, there’s no sense in requiring it to make sense. The art of this holy life lies in comfort with contradiction, acceptance of mystery, and finding the order implicit even within the most chaotic. (Let yourself go round and round – see it all so perfectly clear and then maddeningly opaque and then back again.)
I mean, can we ever really decide which is stranger between the universe or mankind specifically within it? Might our experience just be ever-so-slightly stranger than the rest of strange existence?
Who among us will dare claim egalitarian universitarian birthright and make humble-bold requests of this primordial titan, Solstice? How are we even to determine what might be requested?
Again, there’s no need to define. But if one were to suggest…
If one were to suggest, one so bold of spirit might ask firstly that we may stop and drink this draught of life truly and fully, with joy and merriment and contented enjoyment – even if only for a stolen moment here or there – for this is why we interrupt ourselves with holidays.
A spirit of such caliber might ask for song and celebration. The light demands it as insistently as do our haggard minds.
The request might be put in that rest befall even the most frayed of our nerves in the system. I hate to rest, but without it we’ll die.
If we ourselves had such spirit, perhaps we’d ask that whatever good we’ve started this year culminate and then be finished. The finishing is why we did the starting in the first place.
If boons are being handed out, we’ll want to be able to be chill with the things we don’t like, seen as they inevitably are this week in the fullest light of the fullest days, impossible to ignore. But we don’t just want to “accept the things we cannot change,” we ask, perhaps, to go beyond all that, to simultaneously mapping the world that might be as we navigate the world that is, to walk with confidence and awareness and skill in and out of what’s real and what’s unreal.
Such as this, such as that – such is life. Life, if nothing else, is what we mark on these sacred days. And if we get out of this solstice but a fraction of the aspirational potential I am wont to describe, the resulting blessings will prove undeniable and simultaneously thousand-fold and as impossible to quantify as everything I’ve laid out below.
Salaam. Happy Solstice.