It is the lovely Summer Solstice – also known as Litha in these ‘ere parts. A time for feasting, dancing, licking berry juice from stained fingers and nipping off into the woods with your Beloved, should the mood strike.

I am in a Fine Frenzy of musical exploration and enjoyment. I am finishing of last minute Christmas shopping and trying not to ruffle my brain too much by thinking about how on earth I’m going to fit a family sized turkey into our teensy weensy little ice box, which is already overburdened with goodies. Well, it IS summer over here and several different types of icy poles are practically a necessity.

Today is the longest day of the year. I am aware of the soft shift that will come after this day is ended. We move into the hottest of the sun months and swelter and sweat our prayers at this time. Not for us the peaceful still of winter and Christmas. Our Santa wears board shorts and thongs to deliver his pressies.

The summer solstice is the time when the Green Man is at full potency. His fertile touch is clear over all the land, where all things bloom and blossom under his strong hands. New life and the urge to make new life abounds, (and believe me when I say we got dinner AND a show at the Zoo on Saturday – baboon style!) His consort, the Goddess, our Lady of the rolling hills and briny oceans, is pregnant with his child/himself. I do feel very much part of this strange fertile cycle this year. I too am heavy with child and am enjoying the unfolding of this new life within me and around me.

Beanie and I will be tipping our hat at some solstice-y celebrations this evening. I will pick some lavender from the garden and some wild roses and we will do a little dancing, a little observing and little incense burning. That’s about all either of us is able to do – her being only three and me being pregnant and about as energetic as an over-warmed slug.

I will make some attempt at sort of celebratory dinner this evening and there will be oodles of berries and fresh fruit. Dinner has definitely been more of an afterthought recently. I’ve been relying on the toast and tomato scenario this week and Michael has resorted to creating interesting salad’s with baked potato-y loveliness for his extremely picky wife and her strange cravings. So far it’s been for salt and vinegar crisps, hot chips with salt, oodles of vinegar and gravy and now tuna baked potatoes. Go figure. Never had cravings with Lily – unless you count that one (husband scarring) incident with the crumpet, the hummus and the beetroot.

Other than that it’s the usual madness of Christmas to look forward to. We are hosting it at our house again this year but the family groups are each providing a course each. We are doing mains – so that simplifies things a bit. NExt year it will thankfully be someone else’s turn because I’ll have two ankle-biters to contend with and will want nothing more than to eat and fall into a food drunk stupor in a comfy armchair.

I love Christmas and embrace the full tacky goodness of the season, bells, whistles, and multi-coloured fairy lights and all. Yet here, in this strange country of opposites, I find it a teensy bit depressing. I am a Northern girl and no mistake. This time of year usually means a Yule celebration and fighting over who gets to hog the fire. The southern hemisphere has many delights for me and come boxing day, I’m as right as rain. But the lead up to Christmas, normally a time of mulled wine, hot choccy, freezing blood, aching bones and open fires, is strangely bereft and a fierce longing comes upon me for snow. I want to be cold and wrapped up snugly in my winter woolies. I want to disappear into snowy woods and watch as Jack Frost makes sparkling the whole forest in the night. And I can’t. And it makes me slightly sad. not enough to give up on the whole Christmas preparation but enough that it feels hollow and flat. What’s a gal to do?

A sane person would embrace the differences, enjoy the sun, welcome the chance to bare her feet and shoulders at this time of festivity. But whoever suggested that I was sane? Not me certainly. I was built for a little melancholy and I’m probably not really happy without a little darkness. Sad but true.

Anyhoo, today is a day to focus on what we have and give thanks for the fertility that is ours to enjoy and share. It’s a time for dancing, bold experimenting and making (very) merry, so I’ll wish you all a Happy Solstice – whether it be Summer or Winter in your part of the world. May the Gods look down on you favourably and bring blessings into your hearth and home.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again…

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