Growing up in the northern hemisphere, I immediately identified this day of the sun as the ‘Summer Solstice.’ Now that I live on the line of the equator, I realize how shallow-minded I’ve been! Living on the equator grants me neutral status! Whether it’s the longest day of the year, the shortest, or one with equal daylight hours, what’s most important is the discipline to say, “Stop! Acknowledge this moment!”
Years ago I enjoyed playing a game of marking the sun’s placement on the horizon, starting around June 15th (or December) and adding more rocks each day to track and record the path of the sun. The simplicity of the task and the obvious daily changes continue to plant a childlike joy in this old mare’s heart! And when the sun seems to have no more endurance to move forward, it pauses and rests, then retreats in the other direction!
What surprises me is how few people actually stop their hurried lives to acknowledge that huge orb in the sky that grants us life! My friends know that I often bolt from the scene and apologize as I dash for a view of the horizon. “Sorry! Lo siento, but the sun is not going to wait!”
Of course, they dash with me! Although I am usually travelling during days of the solstice or equinox, I try to always be somewhere ‘in place’ and ready for a moment of reflection. To mark the sun’s placement with rocks days in advance of the solstice and continue for several days after remains one of my favorite activities! Just like pages on a calendar, each rock (or seashell or bamboo stake!) marks the sun’s trail, and I delight when the sun honors its role and retreats on the appointed day of the sun!
Rocks, palm trees, sail boats or feathers; obtaining a scientific GPS point is not what’s most important; it’s stopping long enough to grow silent and reflect on where one is on this incredible planet, what goals and dreams are most important, and being quiet and introspective while appreciating the wonder of the universe!
Today I’ll observe the equinox from my friend’s penthouse view from Hostal Cruzita. The sun might be bashful and hide behind the clouds, or it might give a glorious finale to the end of this day. If you look closely, perhaps my smile will linger across the heavens!