Summer is officially HERE!


Nature, nature, and more nature!

The first official day of summer for 2021, was June 20th. That is the day of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet. It's the longest day of the year because it has the most daylight of any other day in the entire year. 

The Earth rotates on a tilted axis. (You might remember this from grade school classes, but it's totally okay if you don't.) This means that in the summer, the Northern Hemisphere gets more sun, while the Southern Hemisphere gets less. (Our July is hot, theirs is cool.) The situation is reversed in the winter - ours is cool and theirs is hot. The tilt of the Earth means that some places on the planet get more sun. And the Equator just gets blasted at all times!

(Hope that all that made sense. In my best Dr. McCoy from Star Trek voice....."Damn it, Jim, I'm a writer, not a scientist." LOL)

Our ancestors were far more in touch with Nature.

Our ancestors watched nature for all sorts of clues about when to plant, when to harvest, how bad winter was going to be, when to hunt, when birthing season for the livestock was starting, etc. They were in touch with the seasons and the beauty of the Earth. 

MAYBE.... just an idea here, but do you think they might have been happier living simpler lives? 

This is WHY I celebrate each Solstice and Equinox.

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall - there is a day to mark the beginning of each season.   The changing of the seasons is tied to the rotation of our planet and the amount of sunlight. 

The seasons change every year on a predictable basis, and we are linked to our ancient ancestors every time we watch the flowers bloom in the Spring or the leaves turning colors in Fall. 

"Little we see in Nature that is ours...."

In 1802, William Wordsworth wrote a famous poem about Nature.  In it, he was already noticing how the "modern" people of his time were disconnected from the natural world. It was true then, and it is true now! Here is the whole poem for you to enjoy.

(To really get the full impact of these beautiful words, read the poem out loud - go ahead, no one is listening.)

The World Is Too Much With Us

     by William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

I feel more connected to my Grandmother and Grandfather when I get out in Nature.

When I am able to be in Nature, then I feel more connected to my ancestors, to the past and also the future. I remember the good times with my family and imagine my people standing and greeting the Sun at the start of their day. (Although they might not have started with a Mochaccino, it might have just been boiled coffee and hardtack.)

And it is simple to get re-connected, although sometimes we just have to be reminded. I start every day by greeting the sun. It's EASY - just take your coffee or tea outside and say hello. Seriously! You might see birds, squirrels, little butterflys and ladybugs.  Just get connected with your heart, and the heart of Nature. 

I feel more connected to my Grandmother Earth and my Grandfather Sky when I get out in Nature.

(Yes, that sounds like a hippie statement, but there is science to prove how beneficial this is.)

There is something else you can do to get re-connected with Nature - take OFF the shoes and stand on the grass. Do you remember doing that as a kid? I do. And it is just as squishy now! 

There are emerging scientific studies that show how getting re-connected with the Earth has positive benefits, specifically, electron exchange with Mother Earth! (YES, I knew the hippies were right!!!) When you connect your bare feet with the ground, then you equalize your electrical body circuits (hello brain and heart) with the huge electrical circuitry of the Earth. 

This has a calming effect shown in studies to help people sleep better, and who doesn't need to sleep better, right? There are serious studies showing how the immune response improves in people who are more connected to.....NATURE! 

Just copy and paste the link below to read a great article from the National Institutes of Health - 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/

So, get outside, and get RE-Connected.

Each day when you step outside, away from the computers, phones and electronics, you get a chance to just BE. To just be alone with your thoughts, your body rhythms, your breathing. You will find a sense of peace, a sense of wonder, and maybe, a bit of re-connection with the beauty of the Earth! 

Every Solstice and Equinox, I take extra time to really focus on how thankful I am for life, for the planet that sustains us and for Divinity. Even if you do not have a connection to the Divine, you can still connect with Nature. Even Christopher Hitchens, probably the most famous modern atheist, had an appreciation for what he called the "numinous."  And the most famous of modern architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, said, "I believe in God, only I spell it NATURE."  

Whatever your belief system is, you can get outside more and appreciate the fact that life is short and sweet. The negative world truly IS too much with us. Time to get outside, exchange some ions with Mother Earth and get more positive! Here is to bare feet, sips of coffee at sunrise, refreshing iced tea at sundown, and re-connected with what really matters.

Happy Summer to you all!

Shanna