Our cultural calendar is replete with holidays and celebrations, there are days in remembrance of great people, great events, our ancestors, our religious beliefs. Though these holidays are recognized culturally, they refer to events in the service of human tradition and culture. Only four events in the calendar year are rooted to something truly phenomenological, beyond culture, language and human influence. Our economy runs from holiday sale to holiday sale, as if buying and selling were the true source of American reverence. Astronomical events like the Summer Solstice invite us to notice, rather than believe; to pause and reflect on the passing of Earth-time, and our circle round the sun.
If the cycle of the seasons and the day’s lengthening is a kind of roller coaster ride, it reaches its peak on June 21st. There is a kind of stillness, perched atop top the big hill between the rise and fall. The change in daylight is so minuscule that it’s difficult to notice at first …the day after solstice is only three seconds shorter. Before too long I know we’ll be plunging towards September… So now is the time I like to bask in the long light, the days inviting a deep reflection.
Some questions you might ask as you make art, dance your dance or sing your song over the next week:
- What are my goals and dreams for the season?
- How do they fit with my hopes for the year?
- If I was free to change with the season, what might it look like?
- What would I love to do next?
Reflection works best when it’s not a search for answers, only for better and continuing questions, as the slow roll of summer picks up speed.- Wes Chester, Director