Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer's Joy

It began in the woods.  I was standing near a four-foot tall anthill, step-dancing to avoid getting ants in my pants while talking to my neighbor Leonie, who was taking her 6 goats and 2 dogs for a walk. We commiserated about how, as self-employed women, we rarely get a day off.  She talked about the hard work and the near non-existent financial returns of being a farmer.

And then it happened.  I - who as of late have been extremely overwhelmed by the details, and almost incapable of seeing the gifts of the amazingly creative things I do to earn a living - said: "It is important that despite how hard we work, we stay anchored in our joy."

And so, on Midsummer' s Night Eve, at this time of crazy climates and threatened species, of inconceivable hate, mistrust, and violence, of ....well,  you get the picture, you know the picture, unless you blissfully keep your earbuds in, and your digital device tuned to Something Cheerful.

At this time of the great turning, I offer you the last chapter of a children's story I wrote today.  The whole story will be the foundation piece for my upcoming Fairie Camps.

In the first four chapters, Mr. Toad, Bumble the Bee, Papilia the Swallowtail Butterfly, and Melos the Song Swallow share meaningful messages with Summer as she travels to visit her sister, Lady Winter on the cusp of Midsummer's Eve,   During their visit, Lady Winter reminds an over-extended Summer that happiness is a choice, and that doing is best connected to our being.

Which leads us to the final chapter: the celebration we have all been waiting for is here - the Full Moon Midsummer's Eve Ball!

May your summer be beautiful.  May your heart be light, and may you know Joy.

Midsummer's Eve.  E.R. Huges, 1908

The Midsummer’s Ball

It was a perfect evening.  Pink puffy clouds sat lazily in the sky, waiting for the moon to rise so they could turn silver.  How special it was to have a full moon on Midsummer’s Night Eve!

Summer excitedly adjusted the bodice of her green silk dress.  Papilia had asked some silkworm friends of hers to make it, and her cousin Painted Lady had added the splashes of colourful butterfly embroidery to the sleeves. Fawn had carefully picked the flowers Summer wore. Wind had done her hair.

Preparing for the ball had been so much fun!  Melos created a choir of songbirds and Mr Toad, fresh back from his singing workshop, was going to be the soloist.  Squirrel formed an orchestra of woodland animals.  Summer never knew would have guessed that Woodpecker was such a fine percussionist. Spider wove a delicate harp that Bunny played with her ears.

The Faerie Folk were thrilled to prepare the feast.  They decorated the tables in flower petals and ferns.  They made piles and mounds of honey balls and berry soufflĂ©, and mixed gallons of Dewdrop punch, which they stored in a barrel made from a hollow oak.

Hope, who loved to laugh and frolic, was Games Mistress for the night.  Owl was the Storyteller. 

“Perhaps youhoo will regale us with the story of your recent visit with Lady Winter?” he asked. 

“I don’t think so, Owl,” Summer laughed.  “I would much rather be dancing!”

Bumble and her sisters took a much-needed break from gathering nectar and invited all the Flower Folk to add their beauty to the evening. The smells and colours were pheromon-omenal!

How effortlessly everything had fallen into place.  There was nothing left to do but enjoy the evening.  Even the clean up was taken care of, as Ant and his family had happily offered to haul everything away.

Summer shared a banquet table with her dear, wise friends Mr. Toad and Bumble, Papilia, and Melos.  Her sisters Hope, Spring, and Autumn sat with them.  Even the hard-working Green and Harvest Faeries joined them, taking a well-deserved night off. 

Summer danced until she had holes in her rose petal slippers. (Never mind, said Ladybug, I can easily make you another pair.) She laughed until she had pulled a seam in her gown, (silkworm fixed it on the spot), and ate so much strawberry soufflĂ©, she thought she might float up and join Firefly, who was providing overhead ambient lighting. 

As she gazed up and made a wish on the evening’s first star, she saw the rising moon, so bright and luminous in the still-blue sky.  And she thought of her sister, Lady Winter, standing at the forest’s edge, celebrating Midsummer with her own quiet Joy. 

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