We did not carry drums. Black cloaks may have been an excellent idea considering the damp, salty chill. And antlers may have been in order had we thought of the idea. There always seem to be those who are just more creative than we are. Regardless, we did take the time to pack a quick dinner, throw a few sand chairs in the trunk, grab sweatshirts, and roll down the hill to celebrate the Summer Solstice.
A bonfire might have been nice, but there’s probably a rule about that. A maypole would have drawn too much attention from those whose view we could have blocked, solstice celebrators’ silhouettes frolicking back and forth as the ribbon wrapped its way around the pole. Besides, we’re mechanically disinclined. Waving bundled sheaths of grain did cross my mind, however. Of course, there’s always another time.
We sat on the rocks, so did share a remote kinship with those who head to Stonehenge on this day each year. Does that make us pagans? Unlikely, considering that “hick,” or “rustic” may be a bit harsh as far as descriptors go.
Is the experience spiritual? Being with those you most love often is, isn’t it? With a massive ocean stretched as far as you can see, and the anticipation of that amazing orb growing as it sinks slowly into its watery end for the night, what more could a person want? Sandwiches, of course. Eating is always spiritual event for me.
For some reason that I can’t exactly remember, we started taking the two older boys up to a hill near by to watch the sunset on the longest day of the year. It was free, and we did many free things in those days. But the real reason was just to introduce them to something that doesn’t take much effort, and allows you to pause to consider the passing of time and seasons. Whether we have much of a seasonal change here in Paradise or not is beside the point. They loved it.
When the June gloom was so heavy that even in East County Paradise where we were living, no glimmer of golden orange light could be seen, we were always disappointed. The pleasant aspect of this disappointment, however, was that we were able to do the very same thing on the Autumnal Equinox. It is extremely rare for there to be cloud cover here at that time of the year, so we were able to promise them a make-up day not too far in the future. It is usually unbearably hot just about anywhere inland, and the build up of pollutants in the air thanks to Tijuana and Los Angeles guarantee that there will be a spectacular sunset. Unfortunately, by that date, school has begun again, and the day is a reminder that soon, darkness will come earlier and earlier — a poignant end to a carefree time of the year.
Ahh…the ebb and flow of time and seasons.
The rituals we hang on to for life and love.