Midsummer

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, God’s Grandeur

This morning the Summer Solstice occurred at 04:31 in Ireland, beginning the northern hemisphere’s longest day. Different cultures knew the significance of this date and marked it by bonfires – as I will this evening – to recognize the ongoing gift of each day of light and to celebrate the energy of life.

These rituals remind us that we are at a midpoint in the year, which hints at every midpoint in our lives, every letting go and starting over.  Life passes and we discover again its “dearest freshness”. We relax into its mystery, without looking for answers, without clinging to security.

Each morning we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible.

Awakening and surrender: they  frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty.

John O’Donohue.

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