Considering Chicago is blanketed by a daze of grayness for about six or so months out of the year, it’s no surprise that Chicagoan’s anxiously wait for the calendar to read June 21st. The first day of summer and longest day of the year! The sun has finally found its way back into the city. It navigates Chicagoans back to the shores of Lake Michigan, on top of picturesque rooftops embedded in the Gold Coast neighborhood, or a quick jog on the 606. The city comes alive again! A time where life and its day-to-day demands slow down a bit. We take more precedence in BBQ’s and pool days. Gathering of family and friends. We come out from underneath the rock we choose to hibernate under to battle the long winter days. We quite literally feel ourselves physically morph into creatures tuned to a different beat.
Throughout history, people around the world have been known to gather in similar ways on this specific day in celebration of the Summer Solstice. Solstice rituals include everything from simple gatherings, bonfires, community celebrations, and dancing to the telling and re-telling of myths, creation stories, and folklore. However, all of these acts of celebration all speak the same message. The coming together as a community while shedding and letting go of the darkness and looking forward into the light.
The Summer Solstice is a great time to step back into nature and reflect a bit about what is happening around you. The gift of more hours of sunlight in the day gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate the physical, mental and spiritual. We use all three concepts in order to relate to our unique journey. It’s important to remember to honor the entire journey as well. Finding acceptance in each and every experience. Good or bad. We allow the light to shine down upon these reflections as a blessing for what lies ahead. Not to be confused with overthinking the future either. But instead being comfortable with where we are, here and now, and looking forward while feeling prepared to what’s to come.