an amazing sunrise…and a huge crowd
No, we did not go to Stonehenge! It looks like there was an amazing sunrise this year and everyone had a good time, but me and Mr SD decided to celebrate the Summer Solstice in a more sedate manner.
The way I see it, the Summer Solstice is all about light..and heat…and fire, so we were up early to pack in as much daylight as we could.
I had decided to go to an event called ‘Opening to the Power of the Summer Solstice’ a talk, walk and ritual held in the beautiful gardens of an ancient manor house in Chithurst, West Sussex.
We drove down and were taken aback by the beauty of the countryside around Chithurst and even managed to take a wrong turning and end up in a Buddhist monastery. Fortunately the man marshalling the car park sent us in the right direction and we found Chithurst Manor in good time for our event.
There were a good few people there, but nowhere near as many as there were at Stonehenge, which suited me nicely. We sat in the garden with the others in the sun and listened to a fascinating talk by Phillip Carr-Gomm (who just happens to be the Chief of my order of Druids). The talk was good, I have heard PC-G speak a few times now and he is always interesting and informative, but for me the main memory of the day was the beauty of the place: the stunning garden we sat in, the ancient manor house, the wood walk down to a natural spring that bubbles to the surface, the sunlight, the smell of wood smoke from the Solstice fire, even the sound of the loud speakers from the Buddhist monastery next door. It all gelled together to create a strong, sunlit energy.
We all ate our picnic lunches and most of the participants went off to a walk of pilgrimage to the Buddhist monastery. As poor Mr SD has an injured knee at the moment, I stayed in the garden with him and we enjoyed the peace and quiet and the ancient feel of the place where we were sitting.
The event wound up with a lovely ritual where we marked the turning on the wheel of the year, both backwards as well as forwards, mead was drunk (the non-druids among the participants seemed to like that) and after we closed the ritual, people seemed to drift away….
We headed off home ourselves and ended up in a traffic jam on the A3 (returners from Stonehenge?). Why is it that whenever I go to a ritual I end up in a traffic jam?
It was a beautiful day and when we got home we celebrated the Summer Solstice a little bit more with some ice cream – a suitably summery end to the day.
I have never really been a Summer Solstice sort of person, I tend more towards the tremendous charge of expectancy and wonder I experience in the depths of the darkness of the Winter Solstice – but this year has been an exception – or maybe the beginning of something new?
That would be very nice.