I have this way early childhood memory of a circular creation defining months of the year: December at 11 o’clock, April at 2, June at 5, September at 8 o’clock. No idea at all how this landed in my consciousness, but I was always uber-aware of the orbiting passage of seasons. Years later this sensibility has only deepened.
I love tracking the sun and the moon as their trajectories shift with the equinox and the solstice. I sat on my porch past 8:30pm, still bathed in sunlight. That just lifts me. It took me some time, but now I totally value the hibernating dark of January. And the equinox transitions inspire death and re-birth and the equality of light feels miraculous. I’m just a geek about it all.
So radiant Summer Solstice to you all, which is actually official this Friday, June 21, 2019 at 8:54 am. Four hours and thirty-two minutes more daylight than December 21, 2018. See? Geek. But, of course, those are just the facts. We humans are meaning-makers; we love to take facts and create story. There is plenty of evidence man has been inventing tales about the incessant march of the seasons since ancient time. Some are observational in nature, survival depended on close attention. But the rhythm of time is bathed aplenty in myth and mystery.
I got pod-cast goose bumps when I heard Mary Oliver say:
“Attention without feeling is a report.
Attention is a giving of devotion.”
The significance of the earth’s great turning is constantly in flux for me. What is currently arising in tandem with these time-markers defines the onset of each particular season. This year, this Summer Solstice linked to hearing this podcast. This goose-bump articulation about attention as she remarked on her poem The Summer Day . Maybe take a breather, click the link, read this incredibly loved poem in its entirety.
The onset of summer brings us out of our cave, our teepee, our hut. Seemingly overnight our world is teeming with aliveness that begs our attention. I just harvested the first cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and basil. Every flower is a call to contemplation. How can green shine in so many shades? This year the water is crazy-careening down the mountains. In my backyard there’s a patch of lawn I gave up mowing years ago. It is so delightful to fall down in its newness right now, the blades fresh, fragrant, pliant.
“…I don’t know exactly what a prayer is
I do know how to pay attention,
how to fall down into the grass…”
There is so much in our environment that dulls the senses. Are we truly listening? When we look, do we see? Really see? Smell and taste…how are they connected as we eat that first basil? And touch…don’t get me started. Paying attention is a life skill worth cultivating. It is “a giving of devotion”; it is one way to pray.
Please join me this upcoming week:
Time to Move: when I bring attention into my body for a dedicated 90 minutes…well, this is one time I “know exactly what a prayer is”…
Come practice attention….love, bella