Happy Solstice!

21 Jun

I am a casual observer of most holidays.  Many are celebrated out of convenience, or as an  excuse for my family to get together and eat a lot of food.  Many have been adapted to suit our needs; Valentine’s Day has been demoted to Unvalentine’s day observed on the 15th of February, Christmas has become Festivus and is observed as close to the December holiday as is convenient for my immediate family to gather, and this year on Halloween I sat in my living room wearing an orange top underneath a grey sweatshirt probably watching South Park while waiting for the 10 Trick-or-Treaters who were brave enough to come down our dim street.

That being said, I’ve always felt an affinity for the Solstice.  It seems like the most organic of celebrations, and if you know anything about the hippie I am slowly but surely becoming, I like things to be organic.  A little bit about the Summer Solstice, in case you aren’t in the know, or are curious.  The first official day of Summer, the Solstice is the longest day of the year (and of course that means the shortest night).  Depending on how the Earth is spinning, the Solstice takes place in the Northern Hemisphere between June 20th and 21st.  If you’re reading from the Southern Hemisphere, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to leave you out of the loop.  Come December you’ll have your turn, all of you laughing as we huddle here in the cold.  The Winter Solstice will bring the shortest day of the year just in time for me to celebrate my birthday in the dark. Woohoo.

Lots of different groups have celebrated the time of the Solstice over the years (Hey folks, it’s not just for Pagans anymore!) and what it comes down to is a celebration of the earth, fertility and the power of the sun.

So, I took some time today to enjoy the earth’s bounty in honor of this day.

Here is a shot of the pretty purple flowers I’m getting on my green bean plants.  I had no idea they would be purple.  Cool!  And here are the first green beans in my garden…

In another few days, they should be the perfect size to pick, steam lightly and serve sprinkled with salt and pepper.

I also have big plans for my shelling peas, which have not only been growing vigorously, and sending out tons of delicate white flowers, but pods are also starting to emerge.

And last but not least, I wanted to pay tribute to our dear friend, Dionysus.  Being the god of wine, pleasure and festivity, I’m sure he fits into this Solstice celebration somehow.

We inherited a whole slew of grape vines.  Dionysus help me if I know what in the world to do with them, but it’s been at least fun to watch them grow so far.

Oh, and I also staked my 33 tomato plants this afternoon, but that setup doesn’t photograph very well.  I will post a tomato update soon.  Anyhow, that’s my sendoff to the Summer Solstice.  We are off to have dinner with a friend, so look for my regularly scheduled CSA related recipe tomorrow.  In the meantime, get outside, enjoy this extra long and lovely day.  Soak up some of that wonderful vitamin D rich sunlight.  It only happens once a year unless you’re lucky enough to travel to the Southern Hemisphere every winter.  Make up your own Solstice ritual, the only rule is to enjoy the day!


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