Cindy Novotny

Summer Solstice!

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Summer Solstice was a great day of sunshine, reflecting and making plans for the rest of 2014.  So many people make all their new resolutions on January 1st after a month of eating, drinking and celebrating the holidays.  This Saturday June 21st was the longest day of the year and I spent it in Knutsford, England.  As people around the Northern Hemisphere are breaking out their swimsuits, firing up the barbeque, and getting ready to go to the beach, I walked around this village by myself just reflecting on the year so far and plans for the rest of 2014. Saturday, June 21, marked the first official day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky.  For northern England it was a sunny, warm day and I soaked in all the beauty of the moment.  I sat at a quaint tea Shoppe and wrote out my plans for the rest of the year.  I figured, what a great day to do this as I have all the time in the world - summer solstice, as it's called, is the longest day of the year and what a perfect amount of time to plan for my future.  It makes a lot of sense if you think about the real meaning of summer solstice - the word solstice is from the Latin solstitium from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), because it appears the sun stops at the solstice. The solstice happens twice annually due to the Earth’s axis of rotation. Depending on the calendar year, the summer solstice happens annually in December for the Southern Hemisphere and on June 20 or 21 in the northern half of the world.

When do we really just ‘stop?’  Not often – so Saturday I stopped.  I didn’t check my emails or Facebook, I just stopped.  I wandered, I watched people and I made notes.  Think about your next 6 months – what will you do differently so when you celebrate on New Year’s you won’t have to make new plans, you can celebrate what you achieved.  YES – I have made the decision that as of now, I will stop on the longest day of the year and plan for the rest of the year so I can truly celebrate the NEW YEAR.

Since I was in England, I paid close attention to their celebrations of Summer Solstice.  In southern England, thousands flocked to Stonehenge to see the sun rise from the vantage point of the 4,000-year-old solar monument.  The summer solstice is also a time of celebration for Christians and Pagans. In Christianity, the first day of summer marks the festival of St. John the Baptist, and in Paganism followers celebrate what they call "midsummer" with bonfires and feasts.   So whatever you wish to celebrate – enjoy this midsummer moment and step back for a bit and reflect on what is next, where you are going and what you truly want to accomplish.

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