Lessons of the land, Nature

Summer Solstice

In astronomical terms, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the Northern hemisphere. Just to confuse things a little, you may also hear this time of year referred to as ‘midsummer.’ This year, the summer solstice falls on Friday 21st June and will mark the longest day and the shortest night of the year. This means that the light reaches its peak, after which we cross over the threshold into the second half of the year. Light after the summer solstice begins its slow but sure decline towards the shortest day of the year on December 21st, winter solstice.

Transitioning to the second half of the year can provoke a sense of sadness, overwhelm or leave us feeling unprepared and rushed (anyone else wondering where the first half of the year went?!) Us humans commonly have a preference for the light (not to mention warmth) so thinking of its retreat is not easy. However the earth, if we allow it, can be a good teacher of balance. Year on year we witness darkness and light rise and fall, and give way to one another through the seasonal cycle, always moving, always changing and always returning.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we are currently in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

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