June 20, 2023

An Ode to the Summer Solstice.

Reflections on the Luminosity of that Great Fireball in the Sky, and Midsummer Blessings to You

Midsummer. The longest day. Fifteen hours of sunlight. The shortest night. It seems that Manchester has decided to play ball recently, and now here are the cries of “It’s too hot!” And as I write this the day has brought rain. A breeze. A blanket to rest upon if even for a moment. The sun can blind us sometimes. We become bedazzled, no solar special glasses to protect us from its glare. From its white hotness that burns.

Flip-flops on, legs bared, I’m out in the city, and now the sun shines a gentle glow. It will do I suppose. Thank you, weather Gods!

Icarus flew too close to the sun. Waxed wings, flying up and away from an inescapable labyrinthine prison. Drawn to the fire, punished for his arrogance, and with melted wings, he plummeted down to the sea and a watery depth of death.

I don’t blame him. His curiosity that is. What is it about the light, pure, vibrant, magnetic that attracts us toward its magnificence? We are drawn to the light. We have evolved (well on some level!) as a species, capable of upending from animal all-four-ness to two legs, feet on the ground, head and heart lifting up, up, up. Plants stretch this way too, seeking the light in their growth, yearning for its holy hotness and inspiration. It’s almost as if the sun calls out a silent telepathic whisper to the soul to “grow, grow, grow.”

Like a moth to a flame. What is it with moths? You would think by now that one moth, having witnessed the demise of its brother via death by fire, would have spread the word amongst its feathery brethren and they would keep a distance. But no, the pull of the light is too strong. Blinded they are, and at the extinguishable moment, that is the least of their worries! Silly little things.

And yet, European beaches, summer holidays, red-ouched skin more sunburned than sun-kissed. Acres of flesh exposed with the desire to be sun bathed. “Bathe me!” we cry silently, each minute a chance to be baked and browned. The sun seeping through skin diving deep into our bones. It makes us feel better, no?! It sure makes me feel better. More alive, embodied, sensual, woman, a heated hotpot of lusciousness. Ah dear sun, dear sun.

There’s a little sun inside every one of us, every living creature, with sweat on our lip, gloss in our enquiring eyes, being breathed like a living accordion, making God’s music. There are some folk who are so filled with light that we become like the moth, we yearn to be near to them, to touch them perhaps with the hope that something of this luminous quality will rub off on us, like still-wet paint, creating a spot of light rays upon our own skin. Maybe if we got even closer, spread our legs to let them in, drawn down deep their hot breath, rolled around creating fire. Maybe. I think not personally.

One flamed candle has the ability to light up every other candle in the world. One lighted heart has that ability too, I guess. Alchemy. Magic. Miracle.

There is a light inside every one of us that shines no matter what. It has the power to illuminate the darkness if we find our eyes and heart have become blackened, a blindfold veiling our eyes. Talk to the light. Use your inner GPS to let it guide you. It’s your fire, your mini sun, and no one, no one can take that away from you. Sometimes it just needs a little more rekindling. A dinner fit for a king, a moment with a loved one to peel back the frayed edges into laughter. A deeper breath, a wild dance, a walk in nature’s wonderland where everything has been touched by sun, and light, and love.

Want to know something that might blow your mind? I read a few years ago—in a book about colour that I do not recall its name—that all the “green” plants, grasses, leaves, and so on that cover and covet the land like a mossy layer of hair follicles on mama earth’s body, are actually not really green. They absorb the red from the sunlight, and reject yellow and blue. Yellow plus blue equals green. Basically my friends, the colour we see and bathe in is actually what nature evacuates. The actual colour that makes up our greenery is red. Can you imagine everything being red?! A fire landscape hot to the eyes and heart. This still blows my mind. I like blowing my own mind!

It’s easier to just “be” in the sun. Just hang around on the streets, in the squares, on benches, watching the world go by, hanging out with the timeless and the un-busy. Nothing to “do” and the world opens up to offer its beauty and wonder. Conversations with random folk are easier somehow; in fact, life seems easier in the sun. Nothing to do and no need to scurry rat-like to find shelter in incremental weather. Bask. Relax. Breathe. All hail the sunshine!

Whoever invented lightbulbs was a genius. Little suns yet powered by man at a flick of a switch. Ah! As if we could turn on and off the sun like that. Maybe we can in some way. The sun ignites our passion. It turns us on. Ironically, it is the sun that switches us on, on to life, to stirrings of soul, to the humming hunger that oceans of tanned toned flesh teases us with (or is that just me?). The sun is sexy. Fact!

And the sun highlights so the shadows can dance too. A tango of life’s bas-relief. Sculptural trickery of the light and life has more depth to it. Colours are richer, and even the gravest grey-stoned villages are juiced up with invitation, with a desire to explore, to stay awhile, to dismantle their stony silence.

The sunlight has a power we have tried to access, to recreate. A nuclear nucleus of never-ending neurotransmitters, wired up to bring forth life. Without the sun, we would all die, eventually. Well, we would certainly be at a loss for the fruits of the earthly crops. Animals next. Then us, humans. Reminds me of the book (and aesthetic-wise, the film) The Road, a not-so-cheery post-apocalyptic offering from the great late writer Cormac McCarthy. R.I.P. No sun, no hope. I’m sure he was a sunshiny soul inside. Maybe.

Sun shines its light and it makes us happy. It’s that simple. The sun allows for the simple in many ways. Like our eggs all sunny side up. So, put some sunshine in your heart, open the shutters, and let it coat you in its warm arms leaving no part of you untouched. Soak it up baby; let its hot kisses make you hot under the collar, and let your fired steam rise as only you know how. Hot-blooded creature that you are, not yet zombie time, hold on a little bit longer, lift yourself from the city’s pressure pot. Take your time, no rush, no hurry, a gentle heat cooks us best.

I love you sunshine. I thank you for rising every day. Even when the heavy blanket of dark skies tries to hide you, kidnap you, force you to your knees, I know that you are there, still shining, still hopeful, still 100 percent a fireball of light.

Midsummer blessings, darlings. Let the light lick your flames into fanned fabulousness, whether a gentle blaze or a wild devastation of colour.

Aho X


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