The sun provides us with warmth and light, enhances our health, regulates our circadian rhythms and fuels the growth of the food we eat, yet how often do we stop and appreciate its majesty? Summer solstice (from the Latin Sol, meaning sun and sistare meaning stopping) is an opportunity, on the longest day of the year, to simply stop for a moment and find gratitude for the sun and its life-giving power and beauty.
This year we’re being more intentional about our observations of the seasons and rhythms of the earth and the Summer Solstice is a really great opportunity for us to reconnect to nature and appreciate the power of the sun and all that it brings to the world.
Here are a few ways we plan to observe the solstice throughout our day:
Sun Salutation - we’re aspiring yogis and the sun salutation is such a great way to energise the body. Whilst we would love to say we start each morning with this practice, this is not our current reality and so it feels important for us to honour the sun with this series of movements on the morning of the summer solstice.
Spend time outdoors - we’re fortunate to spend a large amount of our days outdoors, often surrounded by nature but on this day we’ll be making a conscious effort to spend time in the sunshine and to show our gratitude for the warmth and light that it basks us in.
Camp outdoors - camping is such a great way to appreciate the long light evenings and the early summer warmth. We’re planning on spending a night camping locally to enable our family to experience this together away from the distractions of daily life. Can we inspire you to book a last minute camping trip to mark this seasonal change or, if you prefer a more comfortable experience, give glamping a go.
Digital detox - what better excuse to disconnect from technology that the changing of the seasons. Our intention for our mini camping adventure is to remove distractions and to focus on being present for ourselves and as a family. Even when so much of our days is spent outdoors in nature we can still get caught in a constant cycle of checking our phones and responding to non-urgent communication when the ping comes through. It’s so good to be reminded of what’s important in life and for us this is family, love and nature. We might bring our phones along with us purely for capturing special moments but aeroplane mode will be activated throughout. Would you benefit from a self-enforced break from technology for a short time? See it as a gift to yourself and your loved ones of being present.
Campfire - we will be lighting a campfire and gather around it on the evening of the longest day to give gratitude to the sun and the earth. A small firebowl or area in your garden is all you need and a few logs. Why not invite a few friends over to celebrate with you and bring drums or other instruments to accompany a campfire singalong.
Other ideas to celebrate the solstice:
if you have a seasonal alter or nature table this is a great time to swap your display for items that represent summer for you, these could include fresh flowers and leaves, candles to represent light and fresh vibrantly coloured fruit.
Make a sun mandala using petals from a variety of flowers available to the moment
Make sun tea by putting edible flowers and herbs in a bowl of fresh water and placing it in the full sunshine to steep.
If you keep a journal this could an a good opportunity to express your gratitude for the sun and the light and warmth it provides at this time of year (although at the time of writing this the sun is doing a good job of hiding behind rain clouds!)
We’d love to hear how you’re planning on celebrating the summer solstice, especially ideas that we can include next year.