The Longest Day

Back when I was a pagan

Yesterday was Summer Solstice, and I didn’t celebrate it because I thought it would be on Tuesday. I should have checked the Internet.

I sometimes miss being a pagan, because I always knew when the turns of the year (the solstices and equinoxes) were, and pagans throw a great party. I had a friend who wanted to have an all-night drumming session around a bonfire, and me and my bodhran (Irish frame drum) would have had a lovely time with that. Except for the fact that lack of sleep tended to (and still does) make me a bit unmanageable — weepy and moody. And drumming all night is more suitable for the Winter Solstice, where one would drum to make the sun come back after the longest night.

I gave up being a pagan because I always felt like an impostor — I didn’t believe we were doing any magic, and I felt the symbolism was borrowed from cultures not my own. I am very personal in my mysticism, so I want the symbolism to speak to me. Nothing, alas, has spoken to me in a while.

How would I celebrate Summer Solstice?

I wish I would have pitched a tent in my yard, and stayed awake till sunset and then slept in the tent with plenty of mosquito repellent and on a camp cot, because I’m well over 40. I would have kept the lonely night company. (In actuality, I would have climbed out about 10:30 and gone inside because of lack of sleep. I know myself by now.)

I celebrate by what speaks to me, what makes for the best poetry. Maybe I have lost my poetry, maybe it was all invested in the crushes I had before my age finally caught up with me.

Maybe I need to celebrate the turns of the year again.

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