Monday, 23 June 2008

Challenging Times

Apart from other things, I spent some of the weekend celebrating the Summer Solstice which took place on Friday 20 June at 23.59.

The pictures on this post were taken by me at Stonehenge during the solstice celebrations of 2004. Not the overcrowded open access horror that you see on the news, or any freak show created by the media, but a private and spiritual ceremony which is a privilege granted by English Heritage to a number of groups every year for a few days around the main festival so that they may celebrate in peace and with reverence amongst the great stones.

Watching the sunrise quietly through the trilithons, is a spine tingling experience, and walking the circle in time with your heartbeat, and in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors, is more awe inspiring than I can describe to you here. On that day, although it rained, we were blessed with a clear horizon, and as the clouds gathered after sunrise, not one but two rainbows.

This year, I could find no better expression of the solstice than these flowers from my garden. At the peak of their vibrance and beauty, just about to go over, their most important work is done and now they are ready to drop their petals, and form their seeds by harvest time.

In human terms, this is a very high energy time of year. We can feel quite exhausted and overwhelmed with the thought that there is still so much to do and yet so little time in which to do it. Just like flowers in the garden we are at our seasonal peak. And though we are seldom ready for it, the solstice comes as a bit of a relief. How often have I thought "Surely it CANT be midsummer already?". We have worked so hard and yet the fruits of our labour aren't quite apparent. Certainly in my life, it seems as if there is still something big in the pipeline.

A few things have happened this week which have stopped me in my merry little tracks, and made me think very deeply about things - hence no posting since Tuesday. These thoughts, mostly about value, continued 0ver the weekend, with a seasonal challenge: To think about something I would fight for, something which means so much to me, that I would die for it. It seems that right now there are alot of people around me who want to leave this island in search of "more". Some have applied for residency in countries they have never been to, in order to find "a better way of life", others are prepared to find "more" on the strength of one holiday's experience. I know others who have returned, bitterly disappointed that there was no "more". When I look at the things these people have or had here, I wonder why they think they will find "more" when they have more than most already. So in answer to the question of what I would fight for, I replied that I would fight for my home. By "home", i mean my family and my land, this land, my connection and my commitment to it. The things I already have, not the things I could have.

At this time of year, when passions run deep and spirits are high and wild, what would you lay down your life for?


Lesley said...

Beautiful post and wonderful pictures. For me it is home and my little family - I don't yearn for the what might have beens and the what could be's.
I know people who do and they are dissatisfied and unhappy.

Obviously being mortgage free with a few acres somewhere would be nice but my life won't be ruined if I never have that!

Thank you for this post :)


Lorna said...

I would die for my children but would risk in for others.

Tracy said...

Exquisite and thought-provoking post...very like poetry! For me home is where the heart & friends mean everything, and I do all I can to nurture the important relationship in my life. I often feel that when people go in search of "more" what they don't even know what that "more" is, that there is a disconnent with their souls and inner & outer life. A good soul search is a great excerise in recognizing the abundance of one's life right here, right now. Your Solstice photos are gorgeous...It rained here on the Solistice. But we lit candles in homage to the sun. Happy Summer Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Leni & Rose said...

What a lovely and thought provoking post. With beautiful pictures as well. Stonehenge must be an amazing experience, I'd love to visit there one day.

Dyan said...

Your pictures are so beautiful. Summer really is a high energy time with the feeling that things are just about right for fruition.Until then we can only be grateful for all that already is as you said.

Kitty said...

Home and family, those people that we love, are all worth fighting for. At the end of the day, they are what matter. I've had a bit of a bad year, and found out who my friends are - those who are precious are worth their weight in gold.

The 'grass is greener' syndrome is unfortunately a common one.


dottycookie said...

What would I lay down my life for? My children, my husband. Simple as that.