Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Solstice Sentiments

Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.
                                                     ~Barry Cornwall

Today of course is the Solstice, the longest day of the year and the official beginning to summer. A magical point in the astrological calender when the sun 'stands still' in our Northern Hemisphere. Focusing its spotlight on us for a brief but precious interlude. Full of light and life-affirming golden ray glories. And outside, it's raining. Wahey, welcome to Irish weather...

A day for worshipping the sun (if we could only see it...!) Or at least for celebrating it. The sun is our life-force after all. It was even Superman's fuel of choice. It blooms and blossoms life. Lightens dark. Warms our skins and souls. It as as much a part of us as the air we breathe. I'm convinced that we Irish all have weather-vanes embedded in our souls that swing to a heartwarming emotional south when the sun smiles on us. Sunny days make sunny dispositions. We are sun-dependant and sun-resplendent.

But how to worship it exactly, without travelling to Stonehenge? Practise the Yoga sun salutation, feeling muscles arc and stretch into majestic gestures of praise?  Dance around the garden at sunset positively hippylicious? Or wake to greet the sunrise? Maybe wear yellow or orange all day?

I'd say just to revel in everything the sun represents. In its warmth and light.  Both physical and metaphorical. 'Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.' Be dazzled by its brilliant bastion of optimism, 'nature's Prozac' as it's been dubbed. Bask in being alive.  Be grateful for our prosperity and abundance. Salute the sun inside us, as Picasso suggested -  'the sun is a thousand rays in your belly.'

And to us writers, our inspiration. Gold ornate He-man of the sky inspiring and lighting. Blinding and brilliant. Apollo god of the sun, one of the most powerful of the Greek gods was also patron of the arts, specifically music and poetry. And leader of the Muses. So sunshine not only dictates our moods, but also our creative urges. All hail.

From the solstice, the sun will turn once more and start back on its winter journey. Now is the time to soak it up and enjoy. Let its presence fill us with golden light and warmth and light and illuminate all of our endeavours!

Solstice greetings!

~ Siobhán

'The Sun' - Mary Oliver

     Have you ever seen 
in your life 
more wonderful 

than the way the sun, 
every evening, 
relaxed and easy, 
floats toward the horizon 

and into the clouds or the hills, 
or the rumpled sea, 
and is gone-- 
and how it slides again 

out of the blackness, 
every morning, 
on the other side of the world, 
like a red flower 

streaming upward on its heavenly oils, 
say, on a morning in early summer, 
at its perfect imperial distance-- 
and have you ever felt for anything 
such wild love-- 
do you think there is anywhere, in any language, 
a word billowing enough 
for the pleasure 

that fills you, 
as the sun 
reaches out, 
as it warms you 

as you stand there, 
or have you too 
turned from this world-- 

or have you too 
gone crazy 
for power, 
for things? 


  1. Lovely! Happy Solstice Siobhán!

  2. Thanks, Siobhan, for brightening the day with lovely thoughts and Mary Oliver! We spent the day finishing a jigsaw puzzle of the Green Man... xo K


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