June 20, 2012

The Summer Solstice

There are plenty of traditions for the Solstice. I always wish I read Midsummer Night's Dream, and stayed up late into the night. But the one thing I do make sure of is to be awake the entire day of the solstice, as if the gradual decline in length of days that begins tomorrow is actually immediate, and we'll never see the sun again. I'm jealous of those more North, where the gloaming lasts for several hours, and the sun doesn't actually set till 10 pm.

Tonight, I will continue my own summer tradition: I will sit outside on a bench, watching the fireflies. Our apartment complex, thankfully, has lots of trees, so the shaded courtyards tempt the fireflies, and they begin their nightly dance around 8.30. I light two citronella candles, pour a bit of anisette over ice, and watch.

Happy summer, everyone!


  1. Call me!:) I mean--unless it's a celebration all by yourself.

  2. I spent this Solstice in company with a hot toddy and box of kleenex (darn you, summer cold!), but growing up in my French and Danish family, we had a fun little pagan tradition that I'll pass down if I ever have kids. It was called the Burning of the Witches: in Danish lore, you were supposed to make effigies of witches and burn them over a bonfire on evening of the Solstice, thereby chasing away evil spirits for the year. We were Catholics (most of us, anyway) so didn't believe in the actual pagan bits, but it sure was fun for us kids to draw big ugly witches on old cardboard boxes, cut them out, nail them to stakes and clothe them in cast-off t-shirts etc., then watch them BURN over the bonfire as we roasted marshmallows in the fading light. Fun times.
    It was probably a good thing that we lived on an acreage in the country; I can only imagine what neighbours in packed-in city houses would have thought of us little barbarians.
    Kids nowadays don't get to burn enough stuff.