21 June 2011

Happy Summer Solstice!

Lovely picture of summer faeries from here
First and foremost, I hope you all have enjoyed (and are still enjoying, as the case may be, depending on your time zone since I appear to have a very international readers) the longest day of the year! Aka the Summer Solstice. I prefer using that name, although I've heard of it often called Litha in some modern traditions. I've been known, now and then, to celebrate a holiday more traditionally associated with Wicca, but usually my big four are just the two solstices and the two equinoxes, and then I squeeze in the New and Full Moons as often as possible. Anywho, here's how I celebrated, and am still celebrating, my favorite turning of the wheel (well, until the next one comes along, that is):

I frolicked in the woods in the pouring rain :)

If you've been keeping up with some of my previous entries, running with abandon in the woods with minimal clothing has been a long pent-up desire of mine. Since about midwinter, actually. I've been harboring this desire for many reasons, chief among them because I have so few outlets in my life where I can do something absolutely ridiculous (dancing naked—or mostly naked, as I was in fact wearing a rainforest-print bikini—mid-afternoon during an epic thunderstorm just might fall into that category). Being an officer in the Army, and especially in the Military Police Corps, as well as being the oldest child in a family with two busy, working parents and one autistic, hormone-spiking fifteen-year-old boy does not exactly translate to having a lot of free time or little responsibility. Thus, sometimes all I want to do is scream into the void and not be heard, or do something inconsequential, just to see what it feels like.

However, as today was the Summer Solstice, my frolicking in the woods was not entirely without consequence, and was only semi-spontaneous.

I tend to not watch television very much, and while I track the current weather patterns, I don't always look at forecasts. At least, not when I'm on leave and I have nothing to plan for. Thus, I had no idea that we were going to have a thunderstorm to end all thunderstorms this afternoon until said storm was dropping quarter-sized hail and sheets of rain right on top of me. I was at the grocery store with Mama and Youngest Brother when the heavens opened. We were buying fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil for our light dinner of bruschetta, along with a fruity cabernet in honor of the holiday. I decided, as soon as I heard the torrential downpour, that if it was still raining when we got home, I would go outside and soak it all up as part of a fun, frolicking cleansing ritual.

My hopes were momentarily dashed when the rain subsided, but I decided to prepare by donning the rainforest-patterned bikini just in case and brewed some herbal tea, just in case. Before I could even take the first sip of my tea, it began to rain again. There was no hail this time (fortunately, although I can't guarantee that would have stopped me anyway), and so I ran outside immediately. The rain felt so delicious! It was cool on my skin, and my hair was immediately soaked. I had braided it earlier in the day, but unbraided it in the rain. I was also barefoot, and since I have not spent much time barefoot outside in recent years, the sharp rocks and sticks stung my toes. The pain was nothing unbearable, however. I just tried to walk on the moss and grass wherever possible. Nevertheless, my frolicking commenced.

Then, after the joy and freedom of running and dancing with abandon around my house in the rain, I walked a little deeper into the woods. I had been outside for maybe ten minutes by this point, and I could hear the thunder rumbling closer and closer. The rain was still pouring steadily down, so my hair was absolutely soaked as if I'd just finished swimming. I faced the deeper forest, listening to the rain and watching it drip down the green, and said a quick blessing to the spirits of the forest who watched me, and watched over me, as I grew up here in Virginia. I offered my thanks, and wished them well as the year began to turn back towards darkness.

By this point, the lightning was practically on top of me, so I decided I'd rather not tempt the Fates and dashed back inside. Then, struck with a fabulous idea, I ran up to my room and grabbed one of my glass containers and my scrying bowl to collect the remaining rainwater. Both are now full of fresh rain water for me to use in my rituals this summer! I am, as you can likely tell, ecstatic.

The bruschetta for dinner was quite delish, as was the wine we picked out. Rich and fruity, but not too sweet. Later this evening, once my parents are in bed and no one will think strange things about me prowling about the house with candles and incense and dried flower petals or leaving a bowl of milk with cinnamon and honey on the porch for the Fae, I'll finish celebrating my Summer Solstice.

May the rain wash away any staleness from your life, leaving you fresh and energized.

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