The Summer Solstice: Turning Point of the Garden Year
‘Small plants, leaves and buds, growing in the soil. O fiery sun, may your rays of light and warmth bless us with abundance, and allow these plants to blossom with life.’
This year, the Summer Solstice falls on Monday June 20 at 11:13 p.m. This important celestial event marks the sun’s most Northern point in our sky for the year. For thousands of years, people all over planet Earth have celebrated the year’s longest day and shortest night. Traditionally an evening fire was part of the celebration along with food and drink and of course merriment!
For all of Earth’s creatures, nothing is so fundamental as the length of the day. After all, the sun is the ultimate source of light and warmth on Earth’s surface and directly related to our food sources. As you have probably noticed, the plants in your garden are growing well now responding to the incredible grow energy available in Hawai’i, especially at this time of year.
In the world of meteorology, summer begins on June 1. Yet June 20-21 is perhaps the most widely recognized day upon which summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere and upon which winter begins on the southern half of Earth’s globe. There’s nothing official about it, but it’s such a long-held tradition that we all recognize it to be so.
For us in the modern world, the Summer Solstice is a time to recall the reverence and understanding that early people had for the sky. Some 5,000 years ago, people placed huge stones in a circle on a broad plain in what’s now England and aligned them with the June solstice sunrise.
But on a simpler level, for hundreds of years, on this day and evening, people have blessed their gardens and crops by walking through the fields with torches lit, thanking the ‘aina for once again providing food for the people. Sometimes a cleansing smoke was used, a sage stick or something similar, that would cleanse and protect you, your family and your garden space. Allow the magic of the evening to come into your mind, and feel the gratitude for the sun, the soil, the plants, and the bio-diverse life all around you coming together for everyone’s benefit!
For thousands of years in Ireland and Scotland, the Summer Solstice has been connected with the world of the elementals, the fairy folk who are out and about on that night. You can leave out a wee gift of food or drink for them in your garden, and anything you would want them to bless. Perhaps there is a tree or magical space you have noticed in your garden that would be the right place for a tiny gift to honor the unseen world of not only the elemental beings of the garden but all the forces that come together to make a bean, a tomato, or a sunflower.
‘Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.’ -Kahlil Gibran
Speaking of Sunflowers I hope there are a few of them in your garden this summer. If not, think about planting the Orange Cosmos or Hawaii Marigolds both available on the Marketplace.
A few weeks ago, I planted a “Greens Garden” which is a new idea for me. I’ve been reading about the value of dark leafy greens in the diet. So, you might think about adding something like that to your garden this summer. The Marketplace has lots of idea for you including 18 different varieties of greens! Click here to view dark leafy greens available at the Online Marketplace.
We have come to the Turning Point of the Garden Year…..At the Summer Solstice, the Earth is breathing out to her fullest. The promise of new life that was born in the Spring is coming to maturity both in the outer world of Nature and within ourselves. Spend time gazing at the warm summer sun or evening stars and wondering how and why we are connected with them. It is widely now known that sunning oneself daily for 10-30 minutes a few times per week, is an important part of getting your Vitamin D an essential vitamin for the immune system and healthy bones.
‘I am summer, come to lure you away from your computer… come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches.’ – Oriana Green
Enjoy this moment of the year to it’s fullest. Take time to think about and celebrate all that Nature has brought to you, your family and your community over this past year.
And to round this Blog out….here is the perfect Beetle song, an “official” remake in 2019 from their Abbey Road Album to Celebrate the Summer Solstice 2022!
Hawai'i Seed Growers Network