A Midsummer Day's Dream

 

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.

― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

 

A Midsummer Day's Dream - Hat and Basket

 

With these flowers I weave my dreams —
      Wild pansy for thoughts yet unexpressed,
      Amaranth for love that lasts between us,
      Marigold for hope which springs eternal,
      Aster for wisdom that faith in each other brings,
      Dahlia for steadfast devotion to one another,
      Coneflower for health and healing,
      Yarrow for courage amidst our challenges.

I shall wear this verdant crown as your bride.

When we dance around the maypole, my summer king, may our lives be intertwined with joy and prosperity.

 

A Midsummer Day's Dream - Strawberries

Summer Solstice

Solstice originates from the Latin word sol meaning “sun” and stitium meaning “still or stopped”. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice heralds the beginning of astronomical summer — when this part of the Earth receives more daylight than any other time of the year. On the 21st of June this year, the sun seems to linger in the sky as it travels northward from rising to setting. Noon finds it directly above the Tropic of Cancer, directly 90 degrees from the horizon. Another unique occurrence of the summer solstice is that twilight is longest during this time. This is due to the shallower angle the sun takes as it rises and sets across the horizon. The longest day and shortest night of the year occurs just before the sun shifts towards a more southward path — when the days increasingly become shorter and the nights longer.

 

A Midsummer Day's Dream - Hat, Basket and Blanket

 

Midsummer Traditions

Humankind’s celebration of solstices and equinoxes is rooted in our interdependence with the Earth as it revolves around the Sun. Since ancient times, the cycling of the seasons is intimately tied with survival — from the readiness of the land to receive the seed to the bounty born from our labors. It is no wonder then that we have chosen to honor each time of transition with practices symbolic of how each period affects us, as well as our hopes as we live within its time.

Midsummer follows on the bright heels of the Summer Solstice. It is celebrated as the midpoint of the harvest season, officially on the Friday between June 19th and 25th in Finland, the Saturday between June 20th and 26th in Sweden, and June 24th in the US. It originated as a pagan celebration to welcome the summer season and ensure a bountiful harvest. Maypole dancing, feasting, bonfires, decorating homes, and weaving flower crowns remain treasured practices up to the present.

 

A Midsummer Day's Dream - Tarot Cards

 

Midsummer has always been considered a mystical time of good fortune and healing — interwoven with the growth of crops and medicinal/magickal plants nourished by the sun and soil. Pilgrimages to holy wells are made to partake of the restorative waters. Bonfires are lit and boisterous behavior encouraged to keep mischievous or even harmful otherworldly beings at bay. Sharing traditional food and drink continues to strengthen the bonds of community.

As Midsummer is a celebration of Nature’s fertility, love-spell working, marriages, and christenings are commonly held during the days of celebration. Natural springs, flowers, and foliage become sources of well-being made especially potent come Midsummer’s Eve. Divination is practiced as well — by putting seven flowers underneath a pillow to dream of your future groom or bride or scrying for their face at midnight with water from a well.

 

A Midsummer Day's Dream - Journal

 

An EndlessPens’ Midsummer

At its root, Midsummer joyfully honors our relationship to the land. Summer is the time of growth arm-in-arm with our hopeful human efforts to ensure a bountiful harvest. We may not all have plows, gardening forks, or spades, but we have our fountain pens, inks, and paper. With these everyday instruments, we can celebrate this season’s coming our way —

We can write. – Journal about what summer means to you, what you look forward to doing, how summer affects you. Record your own summertime traditions, both old and new.
We can sketch. – With various inks, transform your answers above to visual journaling and capture the colorful vibrancy of summer. As flowers are some of the main characters of this season, why not try your hand at some botanical drawing? And don’t forget the seasonal food that is usually enjoyed during this time. You can use other mediums such as watercolors and pencils to add depth and texture to your artwork.
We can compose. – Midsummer is about passion, love, and Nature’s bounty transforming all around us. Express your creativity through poetry and prose, and give voice to personal experiences that make this season so energizing.

You can combine all these methods in a celebration of summer’s fertility — a proliferation of imagination, creativity, and self-expression.

 

A Midsummer Day's Dream - Journal Entry

 

Parting Words ‘Til Next We Meet

On a midsummer night, on a night that was eerie with stars,
In a wood too deep for a single star to look through,
You led down a path whose turnings you knew in the darkness,
But the scent of the dew-dripping cedars was all that I knew.

I drank of the darkness, I was fed with the honey of fragrance,
I was glad of my life, the drawing of breath was sweet;
I heard your voice, you said, “Look down, see the glow-worm!”
It was there before me, a small star white at my feet.

― Sara Teasdale, The Collected Poems

 

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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!

Author: Lekz

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