Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Sun, The Sun

Sometime mid-winter I started obsessing over the sun -- all the time.

I mean, needing the sun. I needed the sun's warmth to kiss my body and heal it. I needed its beauty to brighten my days. I wasn't depressed, I just needed the sun.

It started with the song at the end of this post.

The natural world has been calling me my whole life but I only now recognize that pull, that gravitational pull that sweeps me in and wraps itself around me as it relates to the seasons and the stress in my life.

When we lived in the city, I was obsessed with trees. Big, tall, comforting trees. I longed for their wisdom, their shelter, the way they withstand all the elements and still stand strong. I wanted to be able to weather the violence that we were witnessing week in and week out.

I began celebrating Summer and Winter Solstice privately a couple years ago, but it was last year when I felt the girls were old enough to celebrate, too, that I started taking it to a new level.

This year, I truly celebrated for me. I needed to celebrate the sun's beauty and thank it for rising every day for me and bringing such light and clarity and warmth.

This year, I woke at 4 a.m. on the morning of Summer Solstice on June 21st, a Monday no less. Drove 15 minutes to pick up a friend and then another 20 minutes to a dark parking lot in the country. We hiked an easy trail up to the top of a tall hill (the girls would call it a mountain) overlooking the river -- the same river that was the view for our wedding. The hike up took about 10 minutes -- and once at the top we entered a sacred circle -- a tribe of other sun fans in a service led by American Indians.

We were smudged as we entered the circle and then we waited for the program to start. The elder told us about the importance of the longest day of the year in his culture and our reasons for being there were instantly all the same.

He led a traditional American Indian prayer and then we meditated and watched as he held his arms out to the dark sky and the sun inch by inch rose up, up, up above the horizon. It was miraculous the way she just rose up after his prayer was over. It was a heavenly moment, perfectly timed, and leaves you feeling a part of a great miracle.

I walked away that day with even more respect for the sun and I feel a connection to it.

Pictured above is my friend Stacey who bravely attended the Summer Solstic service with me.

1 comment:

  1. I've loved the sun too, sometimes finding myself too dependent on its healing power. Walking up the "mountain" was symbolic of the climb of everyday living. On some days the hill is steep, and others it's just an easy walk.

    The American Indian Summer Solstice ceremony exposed me to pieces of a culture other than my own. Each time I get to glimpse another culture, it is an immense blessing to me. Developing cultural awareness, sensitivity and respect is a life-long process. Attending the Summer Solstice ceremony with you, Shawn, helped me to take another baby step in that journey.

    Thanks for inviting me to step out of my comfort zone and to walk up that "mountain" with you.