Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Solstice Greetings

My Dreams for the Perfect Alaskan Summer Solstice


The word “solstice” evokes images of ancient days and faraway places where communities dance around bonfires and celebrate the arrival of full light; the light of long shadows. Rocky Stonehenge is one such place that comes to mind, with its change of season revelers and those who seek to make the turning of the wheel the occasion it should be; both an honored and archaic rite.

But Alaska is many seas away from Stonehenge. We are closer, spiritually and literally, to the symbolic inuksuit of the Inuit. These stone structures appear in wild places. Each is unique; either made from round or flattened rocks. Their statures vary, ranging from quite tall to much smaller incantations, each planted firmly to the earth and reaching for the sky. The sight of an inukshuk indicates one is on the right path, that one has traveled this path before. It can make even forlorn places offer reassurance and appear welcoming.

This year I will celebrate the solstice among friends and family. My celebration will begin at 6:00 a.m. on the boat, newly renamed the Sedna after sinking in harbor last fall. It will be the first time I’ve gone salmon fishing with Bruce in our, today, thirteen years of marriage. It will also be our inaugural trip on the boat for such a run since lifting her from the depths of the sea on a cold, rainy day last October. Summer solstice indicates the time to start harvesting the gifts of Mother Ocean for winter days ahead. We hope to bring home king salmon tomorrow, but the sea can be fickle; sometimes she is yielding and generous, while other times she offers simply a beautiful ride. Our young daughter and lab pups will spend the day with my mom. We’ll celebrate solstice at a dinner outing with friends who are in the midst of various Alaskan travels. We choose this day to cross paths and catch up with one another before all venturing to varying degrees and destinations north, the compass direction in which Alaskans are ever drawn.

And while long hours of Alaskan daylight offer little need for a true bonfire, I will take time to light candles in my home. The last candles lit will be those of a makeshift summer altar on my desk. Its contents vary from year to year, but typically contain goddess symbols, crystals in a variety of shape and form, a stone and crystal chakra wand, and the ever present structure of the inukshuk. I will light orange and yellow candles for abundance and activity, and good luck on the journey. As I anticipate the celebration of another summer solstice, I hope the day will give me greater understanding of the path I follow. I hope to make greater connections to those who have also walked this same path. And ultimately I hope the year ahead will offer even greater opportunities to experience joy, understanding, and gratitude.

Created Byhand Challenge:  Sun and Moons/Yellow

1 comment:

Pan's daughter said...

Kersten,
I so enjoyed reading about your plans for the day. The "inukshuk" sound similar to something the Mongol shamans build. Very interesting - I would like to learn more about them. I really loved reading about your altar. Wishing you abundance and a safe voyage,
Julia