Happy Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha, everyone!
I intended to wake up this morning to watch the sun rise. Instead, I woke instead at 7:38, precisely 10 minutes after the official solstice time in my time zone.
Alas. Such is the value of sleep to a 8-month pregnant woman.
So today I have been taking photos during my errands of things that seem ‘solstice-y’ to me and making notes in “that journal”–the one that’s not my main one, but I don’t know what to call it yet.
Hope you enjoy.
Solstice Breakfast: biscuits and honey, watermelon and blueberries, eaten while observing the early-morning garden
Solstice tomato: our tomato plants are doing well and beginning to blush in earnest.
Cucumber blossom. I mainly took this picture for the lovely spiral...creeper thing.
Sunflowers at the Natural Gardener
Another sunflower at the Natural Gardener
I added lemon verbena into my iced tea this afternoon. It smells like the sun.
Getting ready for our own harvest ;): cloth diapers and accoutrements.
It’s been interesting to pregnant along with the Wheel of the Year. I’ve seen a lot of images of heavily pregnant women for Litha and it’s…well, it’s encouraging. Being heavily pregnant has been difficult. It’s easier to focus on the pain-in-the-ass parts of pregnancy (which are many and hard to ignore) instead of enjoying the body’s capabilities.
As I look out at my garden I’m reminded that this is a time when ‘Nature’ is doing an extraordinary amount of work as well. The resources even a small garden like mine takes (and the garden only provides 50%, maybe, of our spring-summer produce) are astounding. The soil, the fertilizer, the water, the time, the materials—and we’re not even doing it well. We’re bumping along in our first season.
Today has reminded me to be grateful for the work the (literal) earth does for me, for my family. It reminds me to be grateful for my body, which through its stretch marks and contractions, pains and indignities, is preparing for an amazing event.
Driving around to all of my various errands I also thought about what summer meant to me as a kid. How days spread out, endless in possibility, hot and boring, and to quote an Iron & Wine song summer held “our endless numbered days”. School would start back…eventually…but there was a liminal quality to summer, a caught-in-between-ness. My summers were filled with sno-cones in unnatural colors (split pina colada and margarita, flat top, double cream), the beach, books (books, books, books), trips to the library, sleeping in and the Beach Boys.
Now that the demarcation of school has passed, summer, especially July and August and September, is more of an annoyance. The time of year when the you can never get cool, when energy bills rise to extreme levels, ice tea is consumed by the gallon, your car is a hellacious oven of doom.
But today…the beginning of summer…also marks, ironically, the beginning of its end. The days grow shorter now as we edge towards Lughnasadh, and then Mabon and then Samhain. In Central Texas Lughnasadh is the last of our harvest, when we set our gardens and fields to rest throughout the relentless eat of August and the beginning of September. On the holiday of Mabon we’ll start again, planting cool-season crops to bring us through the winter months.
So really…it’s not that far away. Time won’t stop. The garden will die–in only a few weeks. The baby will come—only a few weeks after that. Then it will be time to start anew.
Enjoy your longest day everyone! Thanks for sticking with this wandering post 🙂
Read Full Post »