Dans le Soleil: Summer Solstice


When the solar rays bound at you like a playful jungle cat, the air is heated to a blessed state of near-nakedness, and the mercury rises to flush your face...it is officially my most favorite of seasons! I love Summer, and I do mean in the just-fallen-head-over-heels-with-mad-rapture kind of infatuation that only strike when the iron is truly (ahem) hot.


What's not to adore? Walking about sans layers, bare limbed and brazen, with the entirely bearable lightness of being that comes with warmth: the radiance of pure life force coursing through you - vibrant, sexy, magnetic, joyous, outdoor fun. Afternoons en terrace, the starlit and sultry nights, not to mention the pure bliss of a beach day is all too fleeting and fabulous for words.


Oh, I know, there are always a dreary few who, after complaining ALL Winter long (with an extended segue into the damp, chilly northeastern Spring months) will trade, on a dime, their grumbling about the cold, rain, snow, and being cooped up, after twelve minutes of warm sunshine for a moaning, "Ugh! It's soooo hot out!" and race into an air conditioned tomb. But I'm not one of them.


In magick, and in life, though I watch the night sky with a fixed cat stare, I truly thrive when I am open to the vital life force of the Sun. So, when out on an early walk today, I had a most puzzling experience. Instead of my usual meander through the green wanderings of Central Park or the hushed early morning city streets, I decided to walk around the Park's lake (dedicated to none other than Jackie O., who would have appreciated my decidedly non-athletic Parisian attire and enormous late-'60's eyewear.) Without even thinking, I instinctively began walking in a clockwise direction - deosil, or "in the direction of the Sun" - a magickal understanding that we create in this movement to align best with natural forces, many believing that conjuring counterclockwise can produce either nil or even disastrous results. Therefore, me naturally taking this route makes absolute sense, no?

Well, apparently, runners do not see it this way. I was most certainly going in the exact opposite way of the perspiration soaked masses, which was more than fine by me. To be fair, I wasn't the only one, but even if I had been I wouldn't have given it much thought. As with all densely packed urban situations, the majority of people also attempting to enjoy such a gorgeous morning were polite, as was I, shifting to accommodate each other's paths when needed, smiling and nodding in greeting, with an occasionally cheerful "thank you" thrown in for good measure. So, when visually assaulted by a rather miserably sweating woman who flat out refused to do the polite dodging dance with me, I hopped up onto the narrow ledge that prevented me from plunging into the water, tossing a look that could only be understood as annoyed. As she passed, she panted a shrill scolding at me: "IT'S ONE WAY!" to which I could not suppress a commanding response: "MY DEAR, LIFE IS NEVER ONE WAY."


Now, I have never been a creature who cares much what anyone thinks, but for some reason this confrontation rattled me, and my mind decided to go with it. I immediately dismissed this woman as an uptight crank who never smiled, a nit-picky know-it-all who never once bent the rules one day in her dull existence, and a royal pain in my derrière. After all, what imbecile made this absurd directional edict? It certainly wasn't posted anywhere. Besides, rules are made to be broken. I've never followed the crowd and I wasn't about to begin now. Every inch of my rebellious spirit scoffed at the mere idea if it. What is one expected to do, just mindlessly go around this enormous loop, and you're...stuck? No way. Non. Not this firebrand.


But then, in the midst of my colorful mental tirade, I noticed something. And it made me stop right there, stewing more than slightly, because I'd missed something so obvious: there were exits along the way. Beautifully sculpted bridges to lush, green paths one could take through the park at will, entirely free to escape the tyrannical treadmill. Hmm. Perhaps there were choices, after all. But aren't there always? And it hit me. Maybe, just maybe, when you're on that loop with everyone else, and feeling powerless to change course - or worse, filled with inertia - there are not only other ways go, other ideas you haven't been open to, or as in this case, an answer you somehow just didn't see. And, taking it deeper: What if it's not actually going blindly along with the masses, but going with the flow of where you are right now?


Funny, when cosmic wisdom comes your way unexpectedly, especially when delivered by a dripping and righteous grouch. But I thanked her for being the catalyst. Sometimes, you just need to refocus the lens.


That and a lion's purr to you, mes amis, in the blissful light of Midsummer. May you shine on.