Summer Solstice

Our sun is 4.5 billion tons of hydrogen and helium gasses exploding per second. It creates stability in our orbital system and brings us: heat, light, consciousness. Dominating the sky, our Earth, and our bodies.

Everyday we are in a profound relationship with this solar light. From sunrise to sunset, everyday, every month, every season, every year. Today we bathe in the longest hours of sunlight.

We enter the season of the heart: summer.

For the last six months we’ve been bringing in more light. Our bodies take in this daily increase, storing it, using it, as if we have been light starved.

Then, bam! The sun reaches its most northern point from the equator, appearing to stop moving altogether, before turning southward again and returning us to the dark of longer nights.

Seeds, long ago planted, have pushed up through the ground—rooting deep into the soil, branching toward the light. It’s as if nature is pregnant and coming to full term, flowering in the field and in our heart. Her potency not yet delivered. And therein lies the irony of summer’s arrival, its heat and harvest are still months away.

Nature, in her wisdom, gathers the sunlight’s power on these lingering days of late June, storing the heat in the oceans and land, and in the blossoms and fruit. Not until late July and August do we get the firecracker sultriness of summer­—and tomatoes, peaches, and corn.

We are light beings. We need sun to thrive and grow. Your body makes vitamin D with sunlight. If you can arrange your day, morning sunlight for 10-15 minutes will provide ample vitamin D. Our bodies crave vitamin D for a variety of reasons, not least of which is boosting our immune system, helping with calcium absorption for strong bones, balancing circadian rhythms which helps sleep, improving metabolism, and easing depression by increasing our levels of serotonin.

So get outside today. Play in the sun. Take a walk at noon. Make a bonfire tonight and let your eyes get lost in its glowing embers. Its flame links you directly to the exploding miracle that is our sun.

Meg B. Holden writes and lives in Portland, Oregon.