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Merry Meet and Welcome!

We hope that you will find our content to be uplifting and educational. Please keep in mind that this is not a space for debate or criticism but rather a place for respect, curiosity and learning.

You are encouraged to take what you can from what we share here. If you want to know more, do not look to the contributors of this blog to teach anything beyond what we post. Seek out what feels right for you, trust the Spirit to guide you and have faith in our heavenly parents who are the givers of all pure knowledge.

June 19, 2011

Preparing for Summer Solstice and Midsummer's Eve

This blog is cross posted on my personal blog here


In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?

-Robert Louis Stevenson


Summer is HERE. We are sweating, we are swimming, we are eating delicious fruits from the Farmer's Market and spending lots of time outside.

In the summer time it can be hard to get a hold of one's schedule. There are SOOOO many festivals and holidays to celebrate. Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed, similar to the way I feel in December. There are so many things I want to do, so many traditions I want to enrich my children's lives yet, I don't want my carefree summer overloaded.

My solution is to do some combining. I like to combine Summer Solstice (which usually happens on the 20th or 21st of June) with Midsummer's Eve, also known as St. John the Baptist Day (which takes place on the 24th). This way I can stretch a few fun activities and stories over a 4-5 day time period and take an easier pace with it.

I also like to do another combo week of Canada day (July 1st), Fourth of July, and Scottish Midsummer/Summer Solstice which is on July 5th and also happens to be my baptism anniversary.

But let's get back to this coming week and what it will look like in our home.

June 21st is Summer Solstice. This is the longest day of the year. The sun is at his height, he is as strong as he can get, beating down upon our fresh crops and feeding them with his rays. But this is also the tipping point. After this night the sun will grow weaker and weaker until he is reborn at Winter Solstice.

Have you ever stopped to contemplate sunlight? What a marvelous creation! The sun gives us everything. Light, energy, food, warmth. We cannot live without this cheery fellow in the sky.

The sun is constant. I think it's no coincidence that Father's day is celebrated near Summer Solstice. After all fathers are the sunlight of a family. Never wavering, always strong and constant. They rise every morning and set every evening and provide for us the whole day through. No wonder many cultures have equated the sun with Heavenly Father. Such radiant and dependable love!

Midsummer's Eve is a tradition which was held in various parts of the world, especially in Northern Europe. It was very much a part of the Summer Solstice celebrations and when Christianity arrived it also became the nativity of John the Baptist who as we all know was born six month before Jesus.

John the Baptist is one of my favorite biblical characters. He very much paved the way for the messiah to come. His preaching and baptizing at the river Jordon is a beautiful narrative of the power of the natural world, in this case flowing water. 

John the Baptist is also very important in my faith tradition. John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith Jr and Oliver Cowdery on May 15th, 1829 and baptized the hence restoring the Aaronic Priesthood to the earth and giving every Latter-day Saint a direct baptismal heritage to John the Baptist.


Ideas for Celebration


Crafts

- Make streamers from a stick and some colorful ribbon
- Cut out orange suns from paper and hang them in the window
- Make paper fans
- Paint orange suns on a window using window paints
- Make pinwheels
- Make huge soap bubbles using a hanger and a large bucket of suds
- Do some face painting (add a few drops of soap to your regular non toxic paint)

Activities

- Take a trip to the river, pond, beach or city pool
- Watch A Midsummer's Night Dream
- Listen to the audio recording of A Midsummer's Night Dream on Libra Vox
- Read about John the Baptist in the scriptures
- Have a picnic
- Have a family BBQ
- Make fruit salad from summer fruits
- Drum, dance
- Journal about your baptism, what it meant for you and what it still means
- Decorate with yellow and/or orange streamers
- Felt flowers, fairies, and fruits from naturally dyed wool
- Visit the Farmer's Market
- Read summer poems
- Hold an orange dinner - oranges, scrambled egg yolks, orange bell peppers, rice with tumeric, etc.

Summer Blessings!

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