Today is one of those great turning points of the earth, the summer solstice. I am aware here in Kauai, that being near the equator, there are not any noticeable shifts in light from season to season. Much unlike my home in Seattle where summer days stretch out long and light and winter days are short with the sun low on the horizon. I actually prefer the contrasts, and may be one of th few people in Seattle who loves the winter there.
Tending the seasons is an important spiritual practice. Noticing what is happening with the earth's movements and cycles of bloom and death can help us to tend what is happening in our own inner life. Just as the liturgical cycles of our traditions can give us nourishment for our journeys, so too can the great cycles of the earth offer us wisdom and guidance. We are so out of touch with these rhythms, working endlessly under the benefit of artificial light, and we become disconnected with our bodies.
Today, remember those days of summer as a child when time seemed to stretch out before you lazily with no hurries or worries. Embrace this day of Holy Light, the longest of our year in the Northern Hemisphere. Become aware of the earth's constant turning, and her tilting now toward the season of slowly growing darkness once again.
Take a moment to reflect on the season of your own soul. What great light is bursting forth within you today? Where in your life are you beginning the slow tilt toward Holy Darkness?
-Christine Valters Paintner