Sunflowers are blooming, dragonflies are hunting, and cicadas are droning where I live.
Sunflowers blooming in my home garden
Farmers’ markets are full to bursting with tomatoes and other early summer delights. WeatherBug lights my phone up with heat advisory warnings on the daily now. Ah, summer in Austin. When it’s still beautiful but beginning to be too hot to be outdoors during the day without being in water. Today to celebrate Summer Solstice, my kids and I met friends at Deep Eddy, a spring-fed pool, and the oldest swimming pool in Texas, for swimming and soaking up the summer sun.
Soaking in the spring-fed waters of Deep Eddy
Although we did not ritualize our time at the pool in any way, swimming at Deep Eddy for Summer Solstice is becoming something of a ritual in itself for us, this being our second year in a row to do so.
Over the years it has become less important for me to formally ritualize the solar holidays. I enjoy celebrating them with other pagan types when I have the opportunity, and I find it deeply meaningful to reflect on the change in seasonal tides which they mark. But they may or may not coincide with the timing of spell work, divination, and other personal spiritual practices.
So which themes and seasonal changes am I celebrating right now? Summer solstice feels like the time to express gratitude and celebrate abundance, so I grounded and centered myself poolside and then sent some gratitudes out on the breath today. I’ve also been reflecting on the shift from the growing tide to the reaping tide of the year, particularly as these themes apply to my personal life this year. What goals did I set for myself at the beginning of the year, and how am I progressing on them? What remains for me to manifest in the waning part of the year? I’ll spare you the navel-gazing details, but suffice it to say that it has been productive for me, to reflect on these questions at this particular seasonal moment.
Apple-green inland sea oats growing in my home garden. They’ll ripen to tan over the coming months.
In the spirit of celebrating abundance, I made a veggie soup for dinner from the odds and ends of last week’s Farmers Market haul, this week’s grocery store haul, and herbs from our garden. I hope I’m never finished being humbled to the core by how much food my family and I are lucky enough to have access to, and by how utterly dependent we all are on the sun’s energy and the lives of plants who harvest it.
Basil would have been nice, but I didn’t start mine until late May, so it’s not ready to harvest. Parsley, oregano, and a few sprigs of thyme sufficed instead.
(This soup is an adaptation of the Easiest Vegetable Soup recipe in Mark Bittman’s book on eating vegan before 6pm, which I highly recommend.)
No way in heck this one would eat veggie soup, but how can we know for sure he doesn’t like it, unless he gets a bite?
Happy longest day, dear readers in the Northern Hemisphere!