Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.
Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they chose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being.
As farmers, instead of skipping through nature as we move from place to place, we get to be out there in it all day, every day, where we can notice the smallest seasonal changes as they unfold all around us. Still, in some inexplicable way, I always manage to be caught off guard by the Date, by the Official First Day of each and every season. Without fail I find myself feeling shocked. It is not possible! Where did the time go? Summer is here already!?
I have decided to mark the arrival of the seasons with intention, to create for my family small and simple but hopefully enduring traditions to remind us to pause, to mark the passing of the old, to welcome the coming of the new. For me also, there is a great deal of authenticity in celebrating Nature, for that is where I find the most valid and tangible manifestation of my own spirituality.
My wish was to celebrate this Summer Solstice with fire, as we celebrate the Winter Solstice. Not with a massive and raging bonfire which is so wonderfully welcome on the first true night of Winter, but with a small fire, a campfire. I would build a fire pit, just a simple divot filled with sand, surrounded by stones. We would gather around this spot to share in the magic circle of firelight, to welcome the Summer Sun. We would toast marshmallows and – for the first time – introduce Thatcher to that most perfect of campfire confections: the Smore.
What ever happens according to plan? The day of the Solstice dawned already hot and sticky beyond comfort. The forecasted 96 would be spot on. So, I laid aside my plans and realized that introducing the Summer Solstice campfire tradition could wait until next year. I made the decision to stop feeling disappointed, to stop feeling like Nature was working against me. I gave in to the fact that sometimes the best plan is the one you didn’t make ahead of time, the one that just happens as the day desires.
So, we spent the day in a different way. It became a day altogether wonderful and meaningful and in many ways, far more seasonally appropriate in the first place. Thatcher attended his Discovery Camp at the local Audubon Center (yes, I’m aware of how lucky I am to have this place just three miles from my farm) where we skimmed in the pond with nets to capture all manner of critters and then retreated from the heat into the woods for adventures and exploration.
For the first time this year, we headed to the beach.
We scooped, we swam, we simply sat in the cool water.
For the first time, Greta walked in the warm sand.
For the first time, we made popsicles, a spur of the moment concoction inspired by things we had on hand and by the Sun itself. Sunshine frozen into a sweet treat enjoyed at the very end of the year’s longest day.
So perhaps we have unintentionally created a new tradition, one determined not by my preconceived notion of how I wanted my day to run, but one determined by the day itself. And from this day forward, these popsicles – fresh and sweet and bright – will always remind me to celebrate the Sun.
Solstice Sun Popsicles
(makes about 10 popsicles)
3 cups orange juice (or, for a more intense orange flavor, one can OJ concentrate with one can water)
1/3 of a ripe pineapple cut into small pieces
zest and juice from one lime
a generous drizzle of honey
Combine, blend (an immersion blender works perfectly), pour into popsicle molds, add sticks, freeze. Enjoy!
This month we welcome Sophie to the blog as a guest contributor. You can visit Sophie in her own internet space, The Joy of Farming, where she writes about her life as a farmer, wife and mother. You’ll notice that Sophie’s photographs are especially lovely, and we are so happy to have her sharing them with us this month as a part of the Being series.
Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do. To learn more about us, please visit us on Facebook,Pinterest, and Twitter.
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