On the 21st of June, the Northern Hemisphere celebrates the longest day of our year.
Under the bright Sun
Let us warm ourselves
Among the blossoms
Let our souls be nourished
In harmony with Sparrows and Bluebirds
Let us lift our heart's song
Under the waning Moon
Let us take rest
I stop to smell the flowers
I know they won't last long...
The warm sun shines hot upon my back.
It is almost Summer Solstice, and at 7,000 feet, the rays are fierce in these final hours of daylight.
We are well aware that there isn't much time before the sun slips away behind the next ridge, and the day will rapidly give way to dark, and a dry, cold wind.
Our pace is quick and steady as we ascend. We breathe mountain air deep into our lungs. We listen closely to the wild around us.
Suddenly, like a wall it hits us, stopping us in our tracks.
A smell so fragrant -- like a sweet, juicy berry -- I want nothing more than to dwell here indefinitely.
The brilliant lilac-white blossoms contrast the shimmering, glaucous leaves of the aptly named Silver Lupine -- Lupinus albifrons. I am awash in awe as I lean in closely to marvel, to breathe, to bask in the beauty of this miraculous being.
The longest day comes and goes in the blink of an eye.
And yet, each moment lives in perpetuity.
What a blessing it is to find ourselves inside this temporary eternity --
to awake by beauty and wonder into the fleeting infinite.
I stop to smell the flowers.
I know they won't last long
As sure as sun will set and moon will rise
This fleeting precious moment
Will last only long enough
Enchanted as I
And carries all of this
On fuzzy legs and swift wings
One of my favorite practices to turn any day into a celebration is to make a special herbal blend of plant medicines. The entire process is therapeutic, meditative and restorative -- from harvesting fresh plants, pouring dried herbs from my apothecary into a jar, to pouring blessed, life-giving water ... watching the medicine of the plants infuse into water, the color passing from plant to liquid ... to straining plant material and adding it to my compost bin, to pouring and tasting each soothing sip...
Here's a favorite, simple Summer Solstice Tea recipe, if you'd like to join in.
** As always, grow and ethically forage what you can, and purchase from a reputable source what you cannot -- local, when possible. If you have questions about sourcing, I am always excited to help support research and connections.
When in doubt, try Mountain Rose Herbs for medicine that's good for All Beings. **
Molly Jo Stanley
Educating for Mindfulness and Sustainability