The word solstice is derived from the Latin “sol” meaning sun and “sistere”, to cause to stand still. The technical reasoning is that as the summer solstice approaches, each day the sun at noon rises higher in the sky than the day before until it reaches a point where it stands still.
Most of us don’t think about that part when we think of June 21. We think the official start to summer. We think the longest day of the year. We think Shakespeare and a Midsummer’s Night Dream. And if you’re me you think ancient pagan rituals with bonfires and music and the promise of magic in the air.
But standing still? That is something most of us think we have no time for.
I realize I might be losing some of you here, but bear with me. I’ve had a fascination with the concept of Midsummer since it was required reading in the ninth grade.
Midsummer has always been thought to be that time when the sun is at the peak of its power, the earth is green and there is promise of bountiful harvest to come. Historically it has been filled with festival and tradition. There was the belief that if lovers jumped through the flames of the bonfires, their crops would grow as high as they were able to jump.
Now I am not about to suggest you build a bonfire on your balcony but what if you did find some time today to stand still and to think. Just for a few moments to dream. And if that is too much for you try calling it a scheme. What do you want to harvest this fall?
Is it as simple as those tomatoes you keep promising yourself you will plant in your garden or is updating your resume? Are you ready to write your own manifesto or put the money down on that winery? Are you content to let your business idle at the same speed or are you ready to take it to a new level?
It’s Midsummer. The longest day of the year. Take the time to stand still for a few moments and breathe. And then tell me your scheme and I might tell you mine.