There will be no walk this Summer Solstice.
As we make another rotation around the sun and we approach the longest days of the year, many are getting back to life…summer music concerts, vacations, time with family and friends, planning activities in nature, dinners outside, and barbecues. For many, schedule books are getting full with summer plans.
For me, these past 6 months have been a time of plans made and plans changed.
Is that true for you too? A month ago, I planned 4 things for one day. All of them got canceled at the last minute due to health-related situations. I have learned to live with this new orientation of making plans and then seeing what actually happens. Many days end up being not according to plan.
A week ago I came down with covid. I had been thinking about what I will “plan” for the summer solstice. Then I let go of the planning and just watched what was around me in the sanctuary of my own home.
The Summer Solstice Sun: As the sun rises most northerly, this light touches only certain places inside my home at this time of the year. The other morning this rich golden light touched a bouquet of flowers a friend brought over. It was the most remarkable moment.
Throughout ages, the alignment of stones was arranged just for the purpose of the first light of dawn to peak through its crevices on the summer solstice. This light coming through the crevice of the stones marks the passage of time. In a tiny way, I found this summer solstice marking the passage of time in my own home.
This presence of paying attention opened my mind and changed my breath.
Migrating Birds: The Oriole bird shows up in my backyard around the solstice. It is also like clockwork. This year they are nesting in the eaves of my home. I catch their sighting pre-sunrise and just after sunset. There is something very calming for me when we make eye contact once again.
Kindness of Others: Because of my diagnosis of covid (a mild case), I have experienced the kindness of others. Over the past week the meals, phone calls, and short outside visits touched my heart and healed so deeply. Although Covid is not something I wanted, the care and kindness go deep and are so appreciated. Again, my plans averted with unexpected situations arising became a blessing. A blessing of great magnitude.
I will leave by asking this question. When these longer days are not according to the plan, are there blessings that have taken you by surprise?
Has your breath been changed, your body calmed, or maybe your heart opened to new possibilities?
This poem by Mark Nepo best answers this question for me:
Not According to Plan
When I drop my glasses
In the airport and they’re
Crushed in the walkway
Between terminals, I get to
Meet the three kind souls
Who help me on the way.
Then I hear you crying
After everyone left
So I bring you water
And hear your story.
Ever since the lock on
My door broke, I have
Now the road I always
Take is detoured. Which
I curse until I see
The heron glide
Across the small pond
I didn’t know was there.
Wishing you the best Summer Solstice,
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