Merry Meet friends! Tomorrow is Litha or Midsummer or the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. I have written a lot here in the last month about Litha. Pics of my altar, recipes for food and oil and incense, the Correspondences, Rituals for protection and ideas on how to celebrate this fun day. Remember, it is the longest day of the year and now the days will start shortening as we head towards winter. LOL..yes, though it seems we just came out of winter, it will be upon us quicker then we realize.
In the meantime, we celebrate the sunlight, the long, lazy, hot days, the blooming gardens and woods, fireflies at night, warm summer rains, and star-filled summer nights. We celebrate with picnics and cook-outs, with swimming in pools, oceans and lakes, laying under a tree in a hammock reading a good book, wearing light clothes and eating ice cream. Family vacations, drive in movies, being outside rather then inside. Working in our gardens, eating fresh veggies and fruits like watermelon, catching lightning bugs and hearing the drone of crickets at night. Screen doors and windows open, fans going to catch the breeze, porch sittin and lemonade drinking…..Summer!! Wonderful Summer!
“Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I was a kid, Summer was spent being outside and active. The whole neighborhood was out and about. Kids riding bikes together, roller skating, sitting on porch steps with popsicles, playing kick ball or tether ball or badminton in someone’s backyard. Playing in the sprinklers when no pool was available. We would organize events such as lemonade stands, elaborate treasure hunts, or plays put on with costumes and music for the adults to come and marvel over. Fishing in the river that ran alongside us or hiking thru the woods. I remember eating warm-from-the-sun mulberries, the tart taste of a crabapple, laying in the grass watching the clouds roll by, watching a caterpiller on a green leaf, the smell of burgers and dogs on the grill, the squish of biting into a ripe red tomato, the crunch of sweet corn on the cob, the butter running down your arm…..Summer was long and lasted forever back then 🙂
I remember spending a whole week with my grandparents where Summer was even more magickal! I believe much of my love of Mother Earth came from my grandmother. They had a very large garden, apple and crabapple trees, 10 acres to play on, hammocks for every grandchild, a tree swing. They had croquet and horseshoes, trees to climb. My grandfather would load us up in a tractor wagon and pull us around the yard in it. We helped grandma shell peas and snap green beans. Trips to the library resulted in hammock time with good books and pink lemonade and homemade cookies under the shade trees. We almost always fell asleep. I remember waking up on sunny mornings, doves cooing outside the bedroom window and amazing smells of breakfast cooking. My grandma standing at the sink in her housedress and apron she always wore, the sink filled with sudsy water, curtains blowing in the window over the sink. The table was set for a feast…with fresh veggies from their garden. Sliced red tomatoes, green onions and red radishes standing in a glass of ice water, rhubarb sauce and apple sauce, crabapple jelly with warm-from-the-oven bread. Every meal was like a 7 course dinner LOL. At night, it was baths with a healthy pounding from grandma’s powder puff (nobody uses those anymore do they), clean summer jammies…then ice cream and a cookie before bed. *Sigh* It was so peaceful there…I will cherish those memories forever.
The best things we can do for our children?…to give them the same thing! Nowadays it seems kids don’t go out and play. I rarely see it anymore. Kids are too busy anymore to just be kids. They are sitting in the house in front of the tv or computer or play station instead. Or they are so busy with extracurricular activities that they don’t have the time to just lay in the grass and look at the stars or to go play a game of kickball with the neighbors. I think that is a real loss in our society. I did the best I could to give my kids the same thing I had. Those long summer day memories of doing everything..and nothing 🙂 My daughter is ensuring that my grandkids will have the same thing. As they get a bit older, it will hopefully be memories of Nana’s house (me!) in the summer that they will talk about in their future! I know more parents, especially mom’s have to work these days and things have changed so much. But I would encourage you to help your kids to find a bit of the lazy hazy Summertime whenever you can! You will make the most fantastic memories for them and something they will pass on to their own children..so we never lose it!
Keep Summer simple, fun, outdoors….give your kids the time to be kids. Summer passes fast and they will be back in school before you know it. Summer Solstice is but the first day of Summer….a great day to set your mind to making it a great season for you and your loved ones!
Blessed Summer Solstice to all of you! Much love, Autumn
*Sources….all the pictures are from the internet…..