as we mark the longest day

“Summer Landscape” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Counting one’s blessings has a particular poignancy at this festival because, as we mark the longest day, we are reminded that from this point the year will begin to wane and the days will gradually shorten. Transience is a reality for all of us and so we learn that our capacity for joy and happiness — like an inner sun — must radiate from within. It’s worth taking a moment to ponder the mystery that at the height of summer winter plants its own seed.
~ Maria Ede-Weaving
(The Essential Book of Druidry: Connect with the Spirit of Nature)

22 thoughts on “as we mark the longest day”

    1. Thank you, Janet! We bought some but haven’t put them up yet. One of these days… ☀️

  1. It is in indeed poignant. We wait for winter darkness to come to an end and rejoice as daylight grows. Then summer begins, favorite season of this teacher, but must accept the reality that now we trend in the other direction. Time to breathe and be in the moment.

    1. That seems to be the trick, enjoying the back and forth of the seasons and staying in the moment as each one comes around again. It’s too unbearably hot here for me to enjoy the summer, but the spring and autumn have won over my heart. Have a lovely summer, Karma! ☀️

  2. I love this: “at the height of summer winter plants its own seed.” How true! It’s far too early to lament the passing of summer yet (what with county fairs and festivals, as well as plenty of summertime activities to enjoy!), but we’ll be noticing the shortening of daylight hours and the changing position of the sun before too much time passes. Guess it’s a reminder to enjoy each day as it comes!

    1. There’s something comforting about noticing the solstices, a reminder that it won’t get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. Like being on a swing that can only swing so far one way or the other. There are so many flowers to enjoy in the summer, and as you say, fairs and festivals, farmers markets, outdoor music and picnics, iced tea and lemonade on the back porch. 🙂

  3. I like the painting Barbara and the quote is interesting. As much as I despise this heat wave and our volatile weather that accompanies it, yes Winter will surely come along, just as it has for eons before our time. It is waiting for us in the wings and then I will express my dissatisfaction with it.

    1. My wish for you, Linda, is a break from all the dangerous weather you keep getting in your area, and many more pleasant summer days than volatile ones. When you get a promising weather forecast I hope you will take a longer walk and make the most of your time with the critters who love you! ☀️

      1. Thank you Barbara! Tomorrow and Thursday will be perfect weather days for us so I will look for a fawn and baby Osprey … my “assignment” to myself.

        Tuesday afternoon/Wednesday morning we have severe weather again. I feel like this weather is aging me … the past week, especially. Overnight/early this morning, they predicted two more storms and I wanted to go to bed early as I’d get up if the weather alarm went off for severe weather. The neighbors behind me had a party and it was loud. I stayed up until after 1:00 a.m. – no use going to bed as my bedroom is in the back of the house. The A/C unit is behind my room, but I didn’t want to put it on in case we had lightning, but not severe enough weather to set off the weather alarm. A HVAC tech told us years ago, a lightning strike could damage the unit’s condensor and start a fire. So, I know the noise finally ended at 3:00 a.m. and we had NO storms. The predictions, even if they don’t come to fruition, are worrisome too. I am already looking forward to Fall as they predict a hot/stormy Summer.

        1. I hope you do find a baby osprey! You made me remember Tiny Lessons Blog, most of Helen’s posts were about an osprey family she photographed near her home in Florida. Sadly, her last post was in 2019 and I have no idea what happened to her. I was never able to get close enough to an osprey nest to get a picture of a baby myself so I really enjoyed seeing her beautiful photographs.

          That’s a lot of stress to endure, noisy neighbors and no air conditioning, not to mention the threat of severe weather. Life can find ways to wear us down for sure. I hope you get some relief soon!

          1. I hope to find baby osprey too Barbara. This is great at this location since the park has built a big wooden platform for the pair and they have a lot of twigs up there. Last year, those baby osprey at the fire station alarm and siren were born around mid-June according to when they fledged. I did not end up going today as I planned since we will have better weather later in the week, with low humidity. They put a chance of rain late morning into today’s forecast, so I didn’t drive there.

            I like Helen’s blog – I looked through it and I would have enjoyed following it. I wonder why she stopped writing it? Her osprey nest was quite flat, like a flying saucer, so she was able to them. I hope the babies didn’t go near the edge. I was looking at the photos of Antelope Canyon in one of Helen’s posts. A fellow blogger went there last year – just incredible shots by both bloggers.

            The noise really got on my nerves, then I ended up sleeping in later than I like. I am an early riser, like you, so my whole sleep schedule was off. It is annoying – I just wish I had a way to turn off the noise as noise-cancelling headphones don’t help.

          2. I wonder what happened to Helen, too. So many bloggers I’ve enjoyed over the years have just disappeared without a trace. I hear you about the noisy neighbors. Where we used to live sometimes teenagers would gather in the complex parking lot in the middle of the night. Mostly they seemed to be partying and horsing around but sometimes they got into fights and it all made me very nervous. Sometimes cars would pull up with music booming. It’s a big relief down here. Almost all our neighbors are middle-aged or elderly and so quiet. The difference is so striking.

          3. I was very nervous with them as I worry about fire and from the yelling, etc. I thought what if they drop a lit cigarette (or whatever) and it catches on fire – would they notice? I hope it rains for 4th of July weekend – four days of neighborhood fireworks and parties. I have always thought I would not mind to live in a retirement community. I love peace and quiet and you and I have remarked on how it used to be awful on weekends to listen to the incessant whine of lawnmower, weed whackers and the like. Now you only have the blowers for the leaves. I enjoy peace and quiet – the best time of day is when I get up in the morning – the rest of the neighbors are in bed. I am not keen on white noise as the constant hum puts me to sleep. There are several websites for pleasing sounds or white noise, but when my boss/I moved to the new office, the building had constant white noise. If I was alone in the office with no one to speak to, I would nod off all the time. I had early hours though too for catching the bus or a ride, so that contributed to it as well.

  4. I love the summer landscape that you chose for this post, Barbara! I can’t make out what animal the lady with the sunbrella is walking beside. Perhaps a goat?

    I like that you have reminded me that this point in the year the day will gradually be shortened, and I know that I won’t even notice until end of the summer when I see the acorns and leaves fall dramatically!

    Last night was the full moon (I think the meteorologist called it a rose moon). When I went to bed the clouds were in the way so I couldn’t watch it rise. At 2:30 AM, I was awakened by cooing of a mourning dove which is highly unusual. So I got up to look out the window. I still couldn’t see the moon and didn’t see anything to alarm the bird, no lightening bugs either. When I woke in the morning, I felt lucky to see the full moon setting in the backyard as I am counting my blessings to have pulled through our first tropical storm unharmed.

    Summer has always been my favorite season, yet I know that I must savor each and every day as it comes. Thank you for such a lovely post to start the season. ❤️🌞🌸

    1. Thank you, TD! To me it looks like the woman is walking by herself, and there are a lot of dark shadows on both sides of her. The brighter the sun, the deeper the shadows.
      I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been aware of the energy shift that occurs on the solstices. It’s almost as if time stands still for a few hours. Don’t know how else to describe it.
      I’m still looking for a good place to see the moon here. I used to go down to the beach and watch it rise over the water. But there were many times that the cloud cover obscured the view. All the same, I miss living by the sea. There are so many trees here it’s hard to see anything in the sky! But the trees do keep it cooler than it is in the cities here.
      You reminded me of that lovely cooing of mourning doves in the early morning hours. I miss that, too! I rarely see them here. Although I frequently hear a barred owl in the middle of the night. Each season and each place on this planet has its blessings and drawbacks, if we take the time to notice them.
      Wishing you and wonderful and happy summer, my friend! 🌻 💙 🌼

      1. I did a little research on google about this painting. What I found which seemed to be a reasonable source is that it is a lady with a parasol next to a man bending over to pick her a flower next to the house in the background showing something of a romance that was of a place that the artist rented because he liked the view of the field of flowers from the window. I suppose I could go with that…

        I do get the energy shift, Barbara. I don’t feel it on the solstice as you do, but I feel it on full moons! And time doesn’t stand still. I do pay attention to the moon because it truly affects my body, sleep, rhythms and definitely mood!

        I’m sure that you miss living by the sea. I have been living this close to the sea for only one forth of my life. Though it seems to me that I was destined to live here in Corpus Christi. It just took many many many stepping stones to get here!

        Yet, it seems to me that you landed in fairy land 🧚‍♀️🧚🧚‍♂️ in the mossy woodlands with the treats of deer, fawns, squirrels and the tallest thick trees anywhere, just where you were meant to be!

        1. Interesting, it could be a man following the woman. I wonder how big the original painting is? I remember when I went searching for Renoir’s “Dance at Bougival” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I wasn’t expecting it to be larger than life sized! I gasped when I saw it and was impressed with the energy coming from the canvas. So much better than seeing a reproduction in a smaller size online or even in an art book. Kind of like the difference between live music and rcorded music. So I wonder what this “Summer Landscape” looks (and feels) like in person but it’s in a museum in Madrid so I’ll never know.

          The moon affects me, too. I tend to get migraines on the full and the new moon. Sigh. But I love seeing it in the sky when there are no clouds, in any phase. It’s good that you feel settled and can enjoy the moon near the sea and that you can live out your remaining years so close to the ocean. I’m not sure what places might be in my future, but I’m grateful for this little nook we found for as long as we can stay here.

          1. True, there’s nothing better than the real thing! Is there a museum of fine art close to where you live now? Your grandkids might be too young to appreciate that just yet. But it could offer air conditioned short venue for you and Tim to stretch your legs and relieve cabin fever.

            Migraines are awful! When you mentioned that I feel settled… I questioned that to myself. I had to think about feeling settled. There’s feelings of familiarity, some loves, likes, dislikes and sadly enough detest. Like you, I find myself worrying about the future, yet I keep grateful for what I do have left. ❤️

  5. This is one of the best times of year: the meadows are filled with wildflowers and my own property is in full bloom. We haven’t mowed our lawn in 12 years and so I enjoy all my invasives: Ajuga, Lily-of-the-Valley, periwinkle, sensitive fern and forgetmenot.

    1. Good for you, not mowing your lawn for 12 years! My mother was so fond of the ajuga growing in her rock garden. I’m picturing your meadows filled with wildflowers. Down south here I’m delighted with all the moss we have surrounding us here in the woods. No lawn mower noise to shatter the peace!

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