Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Solstice

Today is the summer solstice and in our Great Lake plains region a welcome feast, as our winters are long, grey, snowy and cold. Additionally, Erie, named for the Erie tribe that lived along the southern shore of Lake Erie until the late 1600s, has claim to the Native American tradition of respect for and awareness of the earth, its rhythms and cycles.

Benedict, too, makes note of the changing seasons. In his Rule, he adjusts the arrangement of prayer times, clothing, and even the amount of food and drink, aware of the manual work in the fields under the summer heat.

Each solstice and equinox we have special psalms and prayers as part of our prayer. Here's one by John Muir:
"This grand show is eternal.
it is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never all dried at once;
a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continent and islands, each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls."