Litha, Midsummer, Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, all of those describe June 20th. Mother nature is dressed in her regal best and ready to share this special day with us. I have a few more descriptive terms for Summer Solstice, sunny, blue skies, golden days, cooking out, ritual celebrations with family and friends, children laughing, motor boats on the lake. This is my humble description of my summer solstice. I will honor the turning of the wheel of the year with my own personal rituals. Then I will build a fire in the fire pit and prepare to sit out side enjoying the longest day of the year.
Mother nature is in full bloom my yard is full of color and it is one of the best days of the year to be alive and close to nature, everything is still wearing fresh green colors bright and vibrant.
Many people have to drive miles to enjoy the great outdoors and be immersed in nature. I consider my self incredibly lucky to be able to walk out in my back yard and immediately be immersed in nature. I share my back yard with three huge oak trees that create an amazing green canopy.
I appreciate them this time of year they allow enough sun in to be inviting and comfortable. So relaxing with a glass of cold lemonade and a book is available to me when ever I can put my work aside for a moment. Interesting enough I grew up in a similar setting in a small town many miles from here, the difference is that by now we would have experienced many days with temperatures in the 90’s already, here it is comfortable with high 70’s most days. I feel as if I have come full circle because growing up my summers were spent much the same way. A chair in the shade of a large oak tree, a book and a glass of lemonade, the only difference is my mother is no longer here to call me back to a chore I left half-finished so I could take a break. Now it is the sound of my phone ringing that does that. I have one advantage I can let my phone go to voice mail. My mom was more persistent. But still I believe the time spent in the back yard enjoying nature and a good book is time well spent. I am able to have a mini vacation and savor nature at it’s best every day.
Nothing can compare with the canopy of stars that shine over head when the day is done and on Summer Solstice they just seem brighter. Finally there is silence except the call of night birds the glow of a dying fire and another summer day is gone. But here on the lake in the woods there is always tomorrow and I can do it all again. Even as I note the days beginning to shortening by a few minutes each day, nature is still showcased in all of her glory from first light to late night. Happy Summer Solstice and Enjoy your summer.
Drinks to sip while enjoying the Summer Solstice
3 cups cold water
1 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
In a 1-1/2-quart pitcher stir together the water, lemon juice, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. If desired, chill in the refrigerator. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices.
Makes 4 servings.
Prepare Lemonade as above. Place half of one 15 to 16 ounce can peach slices (juice pack), chilled and undrained, in a blender or food processor with 1 cup of the Lemonade. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Pour into a large pitcher. Repeat with remaining undrained peaches and 1 cup Lemonade. Stir in remaining Lemonade. Serve over ice. If desired, garnish with peach slices. Makes 6 servings.
Lemon Thyme-Peach Lemonade
3/4 cup sugar
3 lemon thyme sprigs
4 cups cold water
2 cups lemon juice
1 1/2 cups peach nectar (11-ounce can)
In a large pitcher combine the sugar and lemon thyme sprigs; muddle with a wooden spoon. Add water, lemon juice, and peach nectar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and chill. To serve, stir in lemon slices and ice cubes.