June 24, 2009

Summer Solstice and John the Baptist Day

It's six months till Christmas! This is the day the creators of the church calendar chose for John the Baptist's birthday so we'd remember him and his story and his message for our soul's benefit.

AND it is full blown summer with earth's bounty, nature is breathing out all its extravagance of warmth, plants and color. In comparison to Fall and Winter, my soul relaxes and has less concentration. Inwardly I'm in more of a day-dreamy state.

When Summer Solstice or Midsummer Night's Eve rolls around I always think, "Oh yeah, John the Baptist Day is here" and I remember his messages. Amid the abundance of summer's growth and fruiting, John was simply clad, and lived in the wilderness. Amid summer's heat and brilliance, John speaks of repentance and urges us to be introspective. He reminds me to look inward and be awake to the universe's mysteries.

While the external landscape calls me into all sorts of activity, I need to not forget or neglect the deep, rich and resourceful landscape of my inner soul.

I drew up a circular calendar visually showing the rhythmical, seasonal living, for my remembering. I added the seasonal progression with colors of the rainbow around the circle. As nature has its seasons and moods, I too have internal seasons reflecting the path of my soul. I call it soul breathing.

Summer Solstice is a breathing out time as nature is the exhale of the earth with the leafing out and bright colors. Summer has lot of growth and external activity. But internally it seems I kind of fall asleep, which is partially why I'm not posting often ... I'm in this dreamy summer state.

Fall absorbs the summer activity back into the earth. With fall we 'come down to earth'. We wake from our dreamy state. Autumn's 'trial by fire' with its fall colors brings an inner fire, bringing a warmth for the darkness of winter ahead. The clarity of my mind restores in the fall and along with it a new internal vigor and freshness.

Spring and Fall equinoxes are a balance of light and dark and seem to bring more busyness. From Winter's rest Spring brings new life, warmth and color. Winter is a breathing in, both externally and internally. As the natural world withdraws into the earth, we draw into the warmth of the house. Inwardly I'm very active with thinking, reading, pondering and creativity. It feels like a time of rest.

John began the announcement of the coming of the Kingdom and the Lamb of God, and said, "Prepare the way of the Lord","repent" (change my thinking). A reminder in the midst of summer's madness not to stray from the path, keeping my feet on solid ground; and keep my soul in balance in life's busyness.

"He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease."

The days are now growing shorter leading to winter and a birth.
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