Sunday, June 28, 2009

Midsummer Celebrations

Here we are, at the very peak of summer! This week I noticed in the garden that the bee balm is open now, in full glory, feeding its sweet nectar to the bees. We have had many late evening with friends, catching fireflies and enjoying the simple wonders of summer. Over the weekend, we went to see a free outdoor amphitheater production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was fantastic, and the kids loved it.

Last night, we shared a very beautiful community celebration. We celebrated with friends over a potluck and bonfire, incredible circle dances and games, and fresh honeycomb from the hive in honor of St. John's Tide. Here is a nice post about this holiday if you would like to know more about it. More photos of the lovely St john's Tide celebration here.

At the peak of the expansiveness of summer, we glance inward. We peer into the bright fire, with wishes and prayers for the seasons to come. We gather flowers, make garlands, dance and sing together, feast and take joy in the brightest point of the year. We think of how this will bring nourishment to us deep into the winter, as the days grow short and cold. We give thanks.

In preparation for the gathering, the girls helped me to gather herbs for a variety of honey sweetened iced teas. Our favorites were the lavender and lemon verbena (a few teaspoons fresh lavender blossoms and about 1/2 cup verbena leaves, steeped with almost-boiling water in 1/2 gallon glass jar for about five minutes), lavender and mint (a cup of fresh mint leaves, and a little lavender, steeped for 10 minutes), sage and lemon (juice and rind of one lemon steeped with a handful of fresh sage leaves for 30 minutes) and chamomile (1/4 cup blossoms, steeped for about ten minutes). They were so refreshing and delicious.

St John's Tide (June 24th)

The radiant beauty of the world
Compels my innermost soul to free
God-given powers of my nature
That they may soar into the cosmos
To take wing from myself
And trustingly to seek myself
In cosmic light and cosmic warmth

with gratitude for the work of the honeybees


momma rae said...

i so love attending these wonderful celebrations with you and your family! i always anticipate your reflective posts and the beautiful photographs that accompany them. i really enjoyed getting to know your sweet mia and your teas were absolutely refreshing! you forgot to mention your sensational herbal ice cubes!! thanks so much for all the love and light you bring to our community! ;)

Joy said...

Wow. I so wish we had celebrations like this in our area. Everything looks so peaceful and community oriented. Sigh. I'm glad you had a wonderful time!

Catherine said...

What a beautiful celebration! I love the photos and the warmth that emanates from them. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful community! Thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

We have just has our winter lantern walks/celebrations here. Your celebrations look lovely and joyous.

Nikki said...

The celebration looks just beautiful! I wish we could have made it. I love this time of year and all the beautiful fresh flowers and yummy herbal teas! Your pictures are always so beautiful!

Amy said...

Thanks, Emily, for capturing the magic of the children, the fire, the circle, the bees and the glory of the green meadow and forest in summer! Shining and smiling!!!

jane said...

looks and sound wonderful. and thanks for the recipes:)

Cris Siqueira said...

i love your shots!!!
they are amazing.

Pink & Green Mama said...

What a lovely celebration, I want to come play!!

Linda said...

Your celebration looks wonderful! We are definately going to try your iced teas, they sound fantastic!

kyndale said...

Looks like a fun bunch of people! Is this a group from a Waldorf School?