Saturday, June 22, 2019

Weekend Mini-Challenge: Summer Solstice

Machu Picchu - Temple of the Sun on Summer Solstice

Hello All!  I have the happy pleasure of presenting you with a prompt on this day after Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year, the beginning of summer.  We used to pay more attention to nature, to the passing of the seasons, to the sun, moon, and stars, to be more mindful.  I don't mean in a save the earth kind of way, but a love the earth and her treasures kind of way.

Today on this day after summer solstice, I want you to mark the occasion - to pay attention to the sunrise and dawn, to mark the passing of the sun.  Ancient cultures did this - Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Chaco Canyon for examples.  The sun pattern on Chichen Itza for the spring equinox looks like a serpent - "the return of the Sun Serpent.

In today's Chaco Canyon, the Ancestral Puebloan people, who were expert sky watchers, carved spiral designs into rock to track the seasons and the passage of time.  In this canyon is a petroglyph called the Sun Dagger because of the way the sun's wedge-shape beams strike it in midday during the summer and winter solstices.

If you did not celebrate the summer solstice or recognize it in some way, I would like you all to do that today.  Write me a poem about the solstice.  Write me a poem about paying attention to the small things, to the large things.  I have included a poem by Mary Oliver called The Summer Day.  Let it inspire you to watch the small things.

I want your feelings about this summer - the fresh berries you had on your cereal for breakfast, the cobbler you baked, the bees you watched pollinating the flowers, the minnows swimming in the creek, the way you watched the sunrise or set, the water on sand.  I want your stillness, your mindfulness, your reverence for this day. I want your joy about the beginning of summer and your vacation!

Please link your poem in Mr. Linky and do visit your fellow poets - all of them.  I will be reading and commenting on all of them.  Let's get in the habit of doing the same.  Remember: I do not want a save the earth Poem.   

The Summer Day - Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do now how to pay attention, how to fall down down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


Magaly Guerrero said...

Summer is always joy for me. I thought my current (hot-flashy) state would make the heat a bit of a curse, but I was wrong... I just need more ice, lol! I hope your Summer is a great one, Toni.

Happy readings, everyone!

tonispencer said...

Magally: I love the winter but solstice in the summer is the one day I love the heat. I hope you are having a good summer.

Fireblossom said...

Mine is a thousand lines about saving the planet.


Frank J. Tassone said...

Afternoon, Garden Dwellers! Thanks, Toni, for the challenge! I contemplated the Solstice last evening after spending the late afternoon on my deck, enjoying the longest day. Happy summer, everyone (and winter, those of you living south of the equator)!

brudberg said...

Today it's Midsummer day in Sweden... yesterday we all celebrated the summer solstice by dancing around a giant Phallos... very nice to be outdoors...

tonispencer said...

I knew I could depend on you!

tonispencer said...

Wonderful day!

tonispencer said...

What fun...dancing around a penis!

robkistner said...

Here are 5 tankas of summer joy Toni... :-)

tonispencer said...

I love every one of them.

Jim said...

The prompt has helped us to usher in summer in style. I'm not real proud of my write but I posted it. Ninety-four words plus two for the title.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Of course, it is Winter solstice for half the world, but I do have a poem to share, something reworked and newly illustrated. Thanks for hosting, Toni.

Linda Lee Lyberg said...

Hello All- Happy Summer Solstice! Joining in on this lovely Sunday. Thank you Toni for a wonderful prompt.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susie Clevenger said...

Thanks for the prompt Toni!

Margaret said...

Late to the party but I squeezed it even as visit NYC and children. I will be back Monday to visit and comment.

Jim said...

I replaced verse two to make it nice. Okay now.