Letting go….


Learning the Bicycle
By Wyatt Prunty

For Heather
The older children pedal past
Stable as little gyros, spinning hard
To supper, bath, and bed, until at last
We also quit, silent and tired
Beside the darkening yard where trees
Now shadow up instead of down.
Their predictable lengths can only tease
Her as, head lowered, she walks her bike alone
Somewhere between her wanting to ride
And her certainty she will always fall.
Tomorrow, though I will run behind,
Arms out to catch her, she’ll tilt then balance wide
Of my reach, till distance makes her small,
Smaller, beyond the place I stop and know
That to teach her I had to follow
And when she learned I had to let her go.

Wyatt Prunty, “Learning the Bicycle” from Unarmed and Dangerous. Copyright © 2000 Johns Hopkins University Press.

Today is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, and the winter solstice in the Southern. For those of us in the north, today will be the longest day of the year and tonight will be the shortest night. Although you would think that the Earth would be closest to the sun during the summer, actually we’re about 3 million miles farther away than we are in winter. But our planet is tilted on its axis, and at this time of year, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, receiving more direct radiation for longer periods of time each day. It is that slight tilt, only 23.5 degrees, that makes the difference between winter and summer.
We consider the summer solstice to be the first official day of summer, but in the ancient world it was celebrated as midsummer and it was thought to be a time when plants had particularly magical properties. Fairies, ghosts, and spirits were thought to be especially active too, and Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream reflects a lot of those traditional beliefs. In modern times Midsummer’s Eve is celebrated sometime between June 21 and June 24. It’s still a major holiday in Scandinavia, Latvia, and other locations in Northern Europe, second only to Christmas. It dates back to pre-Christian times and people take a three-day weekend to dance around maypoles, clean and fill their houses with fresh flowers, and burn straw witches in bonfires to remember the witch burnings of the 16th and 17th centuries.
One of the biggest destinations for the summer solstice is Stonehenge, on England’s Salisbury Plain; it’s the only day of the year the park service offers free parking, free admission, and the opportunity to stay at the monument overnight.

A Time for Everything



Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

(New Living Translation)

For everything there is a season,

A time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant and a time to harvest.

A time to kill and a time to heal.

A time to tear down and a time to build up

A time to cry and a time to laugh.

A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.

A time to embrace and a time to turn away

A time to search and a time to quit searching

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear and a time to mend.

A time to be quiet and a time to speak

A time to love and a time to hate

A time for war and a time for peace.

New Living Translation

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