Socially Distant Summer Solstice

An image of the St. Lawrence River. Sun glistens on the blue-green water and trees growing from an island. Photo by M. A. Phillips, 2020

This time last year, my grove celebrated the Summer Solstice together. We gave gratitude to the Kindred, to the sun, and to the network of rivers that connect us all in the North Country. We gave an offering of yellow flowers to Manann√°n mac Lir. This year, I missed my people, my grovemates. We will still celebrate virtually, but it isn’t the same.

Still, I count my blessings that I’m not entirely alone. I have a family to celebrate with me – my supportive agnostic husband who finds something peaceful and wondrous about nature, and my self-described little Druid, my daughter. We went to the St. Lawrence River. It is a juncture of the Three Realms. Land, Water, and Sky all meet in this magnificent conduit that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. We found a quiet, out of the way place at a state park and were able to put our feet in and commune with the elements. My daughter and I left our offering of flowers there. Marigold from our gardens and wildflowers we picked from the yard. A tiny bit that will go back to the Earth. We took nothing but photos and memories while there.

Yellow flowers on my altar for Summer Solstice. Photo by M. A. Phillips

Between Father’s Day and life’s other demands, we put off a fire until tonight. We burned the ribbons from the old May Bush. Tomorrow, if I can beat the cooling rain we so desperately need, I will spread some of the ashes throughout the garden to distribute nourishing potash. Either way, Bealtaine’s blessings will continue to aid in the fertility of the land as Summer unfolds.

Ribbons in a bonfire. Photo by M. A. Phillips, 2020

I have been doing other quiet workings. Keeping Brigid’s flame, making offerings to my Beloved Ancestors, and reflecting on what needs to be done to right past wrongs. There are things to wash and burn away. Perhaps we all needed a more solitary Summer Solstice away from the more celebratory feasts and frolicking. This year, the High Days demand more introspection.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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