By Heidi Lewis
There’s a big fat tick-tock on the Earth’s clock this week. Those of you wearing stone sundials on your wrists will know that the summer solstice is upon us. The ancients knew that when the sunrise glanced off the heel stone at Stonehenge, it was time to party. And the moderns do the same at Manhattanhenge—this year on July 13, when the setting sun lines up perfectly with the east-west street grid in NYC. Summer solstice and its associated midsummer fest is a time to get loose.
The fields are planted, boughs are bending with bounty, and The FruitGuys’ cases are coming in with a colorful assortment of delicious fruits and veggies. Midsummer is our biological right to party. Typically over the eons, it’s been a time of abundant food. Abundance produces leisure time, and there’s nothing like leisure time during the sunniest month of the year.
Due to our abundance, leisure, and good weather, midsummer has also been historically a good time for wedding celebrations. The Druids called the summer solstice Alban Heruin, the “wedding of Heaven and Earth.” Every culture has its roots in a good party theme. In Asia, the solstice represents the birth of yin, the feminine—so everyone on the floor for Kool and the Gang’s “Ladies’ Night”! The northern and eastern Europeans like their bonfires for circling and jumping over, so it’s time to strike up the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House.” And everywhere, people celebrate the elements with dance music, playing Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland.”
So get down with your pagan/ancient authentic self—light a ceremonial fire! Grill some peaches or apricots. Cheer your friends with a fruit punch, and enjoy the fruits of your labor and the fruits of summer.