The summer solstice marks summer's longest day. In Wisconsin, that means 15 hours and 22 minutes of daylight this June 21st. Nordic myth has it that dew gathered on Midsummer Day, June 24th, brings youth to aching bones and aging bodies. Since ancient times, people in northern regions celebrate this time of year by enjoying the season's first strawberries. I celebrate with a breakfast of fresh-picked strawberries and a walk in the dewy wild.
In woods and hedges, thick tangles of green hide legions of eyes, young and old. Leaves and scented blooms twine up and up, to a sky full of floating and flying things. Mingled roots burrow deeper and deeper in search of nutrients and water. Walking in the woods, lost in profusion and plenty and opulence, thought finally stops.
Within the abundance of wild-living things, it is possible to become absorbed. Not absorbed in the sense of being mentally occupied and focused. Not communing in meditative oneness. Literally absorbed, in the sense of being drawn in, swallowed up, ingested by the wholeness of the visible and invisible world. Disappeared. A heart pumps, but it's no one's and the trees breathe–unyielding, devoted, and undaunted these longest days of summer.
"Summertime," detail views and purchase information here.
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Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
©2021 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.