This Sunday is Litha, Midsummer.
When I first started on the Pagan path, Midsummer was both a joy and a mystery to me. I suddenly understood all of the pieces of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I also was highly confused that…well, summer isn’t half over. It’s just beginning! How can something be called Midsummer when we’re not even a day into the season which the holiday is saying we are half way through??
Two (or maybe three) years ago, I started paying a lot of attention to the buds on the trees. In early March, trees can be seen full of small leaf buds. By early May, every tree is full. Interestingly, the tree in the back of my house is two-three weeks ahead of the tree in the front of the house; the front of my house would be “full AM sun” while the back is “full sun” based on gardening standards.
The growth on the trees isn’t about the temperature. And no one knows, or cares, what month it is other than humans.
It’s all about the light.
The light begins to return to the Northern Hemisphere at Yule, the Dark Solstice, when the days slowly, slowly, slowly begin to get longer. Likewise, the light begins to recede from the Northern Hemisphere at Litha, the Light Solstice, when the days slowly, slowly, slowly begin to get shorter.
This doesn’t mean the Summer is over.
It doesn’t mean the cold will be creeping in.
It doesn’t mean Fall is beginning.
It means the light is receding. And growth be soon follow.
It means things are beginning to wind down, become quiet. It means that while we are hustling and bustling and enjoying all that Summer has to offer, Nature is setting the stage for us to slide into a place of calm.