Solstice

My dear Grandma Ellen, pictured above, hated June 21st.  She used to sit on her porch, outside on the grass or wherever she could find, to enjoy every last, single ray of sunshine each solstice.  As the longest day of the year came and went, she’d go into mourning for the shortening hours of daylight.  December 21st, on the other hand, BLISS.  Could only go up from there.

And today, here we are in California celebrating the solstice with knee pit sweating.  Ear pit sweating.  Inside elbow pit sweating.  Alex thinking “pits” are hilarious and loves to coin these terms.  Today, though, those phrases seemed all too real as the temperature crawled up into the 90s for the third day in a row. Between the crumbs and smudges, can you make out that my phone says 85 degrees at 6:52pm?!?  EIGHTY-FIVE DEGREES???  And let me be frank, the inside of our house.  No degree can put it all into perspective.  When the backs of your knees are sweating, you know it’s bad.

And then to add more irony….this week is Vacation Bible School at church and today’s story and scripture?  Yes, you got it right….Moses and the Burning Bush.

The one thing that I love about the heat is the way it makes you stop and pause and just be still.  Maybe it’s a gift to help us realize that the solstice IS today.  To mark it, remember it.  Life moves on at such a pace sometimes that taking time to slow down and mark milestones and passing of time seems challenging or often remembered after the fact.  One of my favorites, Daisy Buchanan of Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby fame, aptly reflected, “Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it.”

Not today, Daisy.  Not today.  There’s no missing the solstice this time around.

I was nursing a cold one of these all day {no, it’s NOT a hidden cocktail} realizing that I’m drinking so much water out of necessity.  I don’t have the luxury or option of forgetting.  I’m parched.  I NEED it.

Trying to stay present, even in the heat of the day, the intensity of life, is a challenge.  Am I reaching for *That* which truly nourishes and quenches?  Is my need so raw and obvious that I’m finally turning to the *Only Thing* that will really bring true fulfillment?

Often times, not.  But sometimes, I manage to open my eyes for real and take it in.   To savor the small moments.

Example #1:

Macho Pop’s gift of a flying pig for Drew’s room.

Hours of cheap entertainment {minus constant battery replacement}.

 

Example #2:

Balloon Hats from the All Church Picnic

Example #3:

Father’s Day Love

Example #4:

Fenton’s Swiss Milk Chocolate {I have my husband to thank for this obsession}

Example #5:

U.P.S.

This is not a paid service announcement, but lately, our household (mainly one certain4 year old) is obsessed.  He never quite says, “U – P – S”….it’s some weird thing like, “U-pez-sed”….all the funnier).

Uncle Paul is all the cooler in that he works at UPS for reals.  Alex is smitten with Uncle Paul, let’s just say.

Here’s Drew sporting the wear…

and some vintage Alex U.P.S. action:

Example #6:

A slip and slide on a hot day.

Bliss.

Example #7:

VBS

Even though I’m exhausted getting the boys up and ready, while being prepared and teaching the 4th graders, it’s so great.  So fun to be with 9 and 10 year olds!  More on VBS later, but suffice it to say–very fun!

So here’s to making the most of the hot weather….knee pit sweating and all!  Fill up your glass of ice water (fun cups and straws make it all the better) and rest awhile.  And then call to mind the everyday, crazy, *simple*, small ways that life is moving past you.  Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the holy—-even amidst the sweat and heat and stress that can threaten to take the limelight and centerstage.  Cheers!

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