Welcome Summer! Today is the Summer Solstice and what is consider as the official start of summer, and the longest day of the year here in the Northern hemisphere. I love observing these ancient cultural celebrations as it is a great way to slow down, recognize and give thanks to nature. Summer solstice is recognized and often celebrated in many cultures around the world, in both the past and the present. The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun’s energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids’ celebration of the day as the “wedding of Heaven and Earth”, which is why there are so many June weddings as we still believe them to be “lucky”. For may of the ancients, though, the summer solstice wasn’t just an excuse to party or pray, it was essential to their well-being. Associated with agriculture, the summer solstice was a reminder that a turning point in the growing season had been reached and the bounty was almost ripe for the picking.
Living here in Sonoma County, an agricultural part of the world, I am fortunate to be close to, and able to watch the seasons as they evolve through their yearly cycle. Being a hub for the US slow food movement we are blessed with the pick of crop so to speak! I love our summers here for:
- the fresh fruits and veggies that abound at our local produce stands and farmers markets
- the long days in which we cook outside
- enjoying outdoor entertaining with family and friends all revolving around a slow meal and great wine
- long lazy classic car tours through our countryside
- keeping our doors open all day and night!
- Giants baseball games
- long walks in nature
- day trips to the oceanside for hikes and plain hanging out
- naps in our outdoor daybed
- the many outdoor concerts performed by amazing local talent
- gardening, weeding and enjoying the fruits of my flower garden
We all know that gratitude is one of the sweet things in life, and helps our overall health and well-being. Thanks to Mother Nature for her incredible abundance…
What do you enjoy most about summers where you live? I invite you to leave me a comment below…
Cheers to a great summer! I leave you with Little Bits of Beauty™ from my very own back yard, here in SoCo…