Cindy DeCarolis

Summer Solstice

“Do you always look for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it.”

“We ought to plan something,”…

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

When I was about 12, finished reading all my Nancy Drew books, I went to the bookcases in our living room to look for something to read. I picked up The Great Gatsby and started reading. It became one of my favorite books – I read it over-and-over again throughout junior high and high school. I always loved the quote above about the longest day of the year. I became a little obsessed with looking for the longest day of the year and trying to plan something.

The longest day of the year, the summer solstice, is the day that the sun reaches the highest and northernmost point in the sky. The summer solstice has the longest period of sunlight and the shortest night. In the Northern Hemisphere it marks the beginning of summer. Solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, sol (sun) and stitium (still) because on this day the sun appears to stop moving.

Ancient cultures and traditions celebrated the summer solstice as a time of renewal, abundance, love and growth. Two symbols that have been used historically to celebrate the summer solstice are fire and spirals. In ancient dances, people would join hands and follow the sun’s movement weaving through the streets into a spiral and back out again.

Another symbol of the summer solstice is the strawberry. The June full moon is known as the Full Strawberry Moon because Native Americans associated the June full moon with the ripening of strawberries. Today we can get strawberries year-round, but to me, there is nothing more beautiful, sweet, and delicious than fresh, local strawberries in season.

This year the summer solstice falls on Saturday, June 20th, the sun will rise at 5:30 a.m. and set at 8:53 p.m. I am always an early riser, but I especially love this very short window of time when the sun is also up early. I find the mornings peaceful. For me, it is the best time of day to meditate, reflect, and pray and exercise.

There are so many things that you can plan for the summer solstice. Here are a few of my favorites:

• Get up and watch the sunrise, setting an intention for personal growth and offering prayers of peace and abundance and a kindness meditation to the world.

• Spend the day outdoors; nature is calming. Enjoy getting out into the woods for a hike, being around water, playing golf, riding horses, or just sitting and soaking up the sun. We are so fortunate in New York State to have numerous parks, trails, lakes, rivers, and other outdoor venues where you can enjoy your favorite activities. There are many of them in and around Rochester. Just be sure to practice “safe sun’!

• Go to a local farmers market for fresh strawberries or go to a farm where you can pick your own. Many people love strawberry shortcake. Personally, I prefer fresh strawberries sliced and served over soft vanilla ice cream – it’s simple, clean, refreshing, and delish. Two great local places that make their own ice cream are Moonlight Creamery in Fairport and Pittsford Farms Dairy in Pittsford.

• Celebrate the strength of the summer solstice in joining together. Celebrations might be a little different this year as we social distance. But we can still get together with small groups of family and friends for a hike or a walk, a meal, or maybe an evening bonfire while watching the sunset.

• Connect with the energy of the earth. As you watch the sun set slowly on summer solstice night sit or stand with your bare feet connected to the earth. This is the ancient practice of grounding and its health benefits may include: better sleep, reduced inflammation, and reduced pain.

So, don’t be like Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, always missing the longest day of the year. Mark your calendar and plan something for this year’s solstice on June 20th. Wishing you a summer filled with peace, bliss, and balance…

At Blissful Balance LLC, our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Contact me at cindydecarolis62@gmail.com for a complimentary consultation. You can also visit doTerra to purchase essential oils.