midsummer

Sunrise over Stonehenge on the summer solstice...

Happy midsummer  ♥

I have mixed feelings about summer and often refer to it as my least favourite season. Of course, like anyone, I love the long sunny days where we don’t have as many clothes to faff about encumbering our bodies with, where the abundant flowers give plenty for our eyes and noses to enjoy, where washing dries in a few hours on the line and eating outdoors makes for less time sweeping the floor under the highchair…

But it’s not always like that in Britain. Oh no. We get a lot of rain; a lot of damp, dreary days that are still warm so coat wearing just leaves you sticky and lethargic. With the other seasons I just feel I know where I stand and what to expect – and having the heating on even just a little helps to dry the laundry!

It seems that a lot of people have feelings of disappointment and anticlimax in summer; picnics and barbeques that have to be cancelled, holidays where no lying on the beach can be done. And it’s a heady time too with the heat, with the sun’s energy so strong, and with nature busying itself flowering and fruiting and pushing everything up and out and bigger and bigger. Heady with the energy of people’s hopes for their holidays and/or harvests. Heady with the energy of nature drawing us to focus on aspects of our outer selves; passion, partying, playing.

Attempting to grow food has brought another element to my relationship with summer, which is the busy-ness. This year, having just moved and knowing we may not be in this home for long, we feel busy. Figuring out what it’s not too late to sow, planning plant positions, planting out, keeping plants watered, battling the slugs and the cat poo, keeping things tidy…the days are full. Full but happy, for all three of us are at our happiest outside. Yet full, hot days in a week where both moon and sun reached the highest point of their cycles can be tiring, and tiredness can lead to shortened patience, to raised voices, to things said that aren’t meant.

Last week, I started feel just a little bit relieved about the approaching ebbing back of energy. The cooling, calming exhaling. The relief of birthing what has grown too huge and heavy to be comfortable any longer. How to celebrate? This is a question I’ve struggled to satisfyingly answer now that my desires and stage of life mean I no longer watch the dawn in from Stonehenge. I was still grappling with that question at 11a.m, sat in the garden, when the answer came; that in itself was the best celebration for me this year. To just sit, rest, look, listen, smell and enjoy. And maybe bake orange cake and light many candles later… ♥

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