Greetings, and happy Summer Solstice!
How easy it is to forget that the seasons and cycles of our world are always changing, if you can always find watermelon—the sure sign of summer—or oranges—a friend of winter—in supermarkets. How easy to ignore the longest visit of the sun with the glare of office lights keeping you in your chair, ignorant of all but the insistent emails. It is all too easy. And it happens even to us, the creative types, who draw energy from nature.
My recent trip to Ireland put me in a different world, one more connected to the rhythms of nature, and one more aware of the past. The Irish continue to celebrate the start of summer with bonfires and feasts, like their ancient ancestors. At one such celebration, I was having a pint and listening to traditional Irish music, and I had a curious thought—time was taking its time here, amidst the green rolling hills. Of course certain things may have changed throughout the ages, but the Irish are a people who still see themselves as a part of our world’s cycles, and not removed from them. There’s a reason why they are well known for their music, songs, poetry and writing as well; it’s their sense of connection to their land and to their history, and the creativity that they draw from it.
Did you know that Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still)? I hope today you stand still with yourself and the sun, even if for a moment, and notice things, and breathe. I guarantee you, creativity will bloom from this stillness and your connection to nature’s unending cycle, no matter how brief. And if you need a bit of inspiration, wander over to our old issues and picture yourself a child running through fresh cut grass, and staying out later than normal because the “night sun of summer" hasn’t set yet. Or imagine burgeoning forests, so full of leaves that hardly any light can get through. There we are free to wander and hear the whispers of the trees as the wind moves their boughs.
Thankfully the Irish have some helpful advice to those who wish to step back and reconnect themselves to nature’s energy; they believe it’s never too late to slow down, go outside and have a wee listen.