Today is the Summer Solstice, aka Litha, the Sabbat where we celebrate the power of the Sun. It marks the beginning of the season of abundance, growth and joy as well as the longest day of the year. On this midsummer day, the light peaks and we once again begin our descent into darkness - the waning part of the year.
Today I write to you from the old country, where I am currently visiting my Swiss mom for the month of June. Summer just arrived here after a long, wet Spring and there is an explosion of green that is healing magic to my dry, desert eyes. The wheat fields are full of poppies and blue cornflowers, and the snow melt of my childhood river has warmed enough for the people to squeal with joy as they jump into the melted Alpine waters of the Aare. It’s Summertime and today the Sun reaches its climax.
I was born in San Francisco, but Bern, Switzerland is where I grew up. I left for good in 1994, but have been coming back for yearly family visits ever since. Having come of age in the 1980s, a decade of epic social economic change, unrestrained capitalism, the AIDS epidemic, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gorbachov, Reagan, debauchery and severe drug abuse - it took me a long time to shake the dark clouds of my teens and early adulthood. But I am relieved to say that the shadow boxing ceased a while back and I now experience my childhood home as a blessing and feel privileged to be half Swiss. Gratitude is a rewarding emotion that I try to practice more and more, especially on shaky days
We live in extreme times; this is evident to most. Our planet’s well-being is more and more compromised and the magnitude of the climate crisis is undeniable. Yet it is still so difficult to create a global movement that will commit to implementing the necessary shift for our world and its inhabitants. This weekend we had a big election here in Switzerland for cleaner drinking water and the abolishment of artificial pesticides. Most of my family and friends were extremely passionate about this possible outcome. But the Swiss voted against it. How is this possible? Well, it must not be aligning with the wellbeing of their pocketbooks. Will we humans ever change?
So, on this Summer Solstice, a time of bright light and joyful abundance, join me by setting altars, lighting fires and singing out our prayers. Let us pray for awakening. Let us commit to living by example (when possible). Let us not be afraid to have important (respectful) conversations with loved ones, neighbors, colleagues or even a cash register clerk. Little things can make a big difference. When possible, let's say, “no plastic, thank you,” and shop at farmers markets, eat humanely raised animals, avoid GMOs, clean up our beaches, grow our own food, wear natural fabrics etc.. Whatever we can do, when possible, makes a big difference! We are in this together.
Wishing you a BIG SUMMER SOLSTICE BLESSING to YOU and YOURS!
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