Day 130: Summer Solstice, Sun Vigil

Today, honor the sun by watching it set.  Go to a favorite natural setting where you can clearly see the sun set on the horizon.  Before you do this, check in your local newspaper or almanac to know the exact time of the sunset–otherwise you may be waiting for a long time for the big event.

When you arrive at the viewing spot, lay out a comfortable blanket and sit on the ground.  Close your eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.  Mentally thank the sun for bringing light into your day.  You can make and offering of sweet cakes or a libation of wine on the earth at this time.  Without directly looking into the sun’s light, peer now and again at it as it sinks into the west.  After the sun has set, take time to consider the following:

  • What personal associations do you have with the sun?
  • What memories do you have related to the sun (sunburn, a favorite sunny day, etc.)?
  • What feelings or energies do you sense as the sun sets?
  • How might the energies you have sensed be useful to you in your life?

I’ve not really noticed sunrises or sunsets all that much since moving to Eugene.  Where I am, you can’t really see the sun rise or set–there are too many hills and houses and trees blocking the view, so you don’t really see the sun itself until later in the day.  If I want a good sunset, I’ve got to go up–onto my roof or a higher story of PLC–or to the beach.

Neither would have helped me today.  The sky was so thick with rainclouds that you really didn’t see the sun set as much as you noticed it was getting darker.  There wasn’t going to be much “feel the warmth” happening this evening–nor any other evening in the foreseeable future–but at least I can answer some questions now.

My personal associations with the sun…well, warmth and life, really.  From the sun, all life is possible.  The sun allows organisms to spin sugar from air.  It’s an incredible, mind blowing thing.  But too much sun or not enough, we either fry or freeze.  It’s a power that has to be carefully, carefully balanced.

My memories of the sun–oh, hot, hot summer days of childhood and bicycles and running around in the woods and through the creek.  And the beaches…all the beaches my parents took us to.  I’d get a sunburn on the first day and be miserable for the next four.  Hilton Head Island was the worst:  2nd degree burns.  I couldn’t stand to have clothes on, I couldn’t stand to lay down and sleep.  I was so, so tired and in so much pain.  But that day was glorious.  It was one of the last days that I played like a child.  We found sand dollars and swam in the rough Atlantic surf and really let our trick kite soar.  I don’t even remember resting much at all that day.

When I do manage to catch a sunset, I feel energies drawing to a close.  I feel lulled to a comfortable, natural rest, one of near perfect peace and one of a sweet hope for the new day.

Energy, balance, and rest can all obviously be useful in my life, but in order to really feel true energy or true rest, I’ve got to work so hard on striving that crucial balance, lest I freeze or frizzle.

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