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Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice
June 22, 2010 Mary Jo

Father’s Day meant that Sunday’s activities were Daddy’s choice, so he chose for us to spend the whole blessed day at a Solstice celebration in Madison. Still riding high from last year’s Winter Solstice, we were looking for a meaningful way to spend the summer holiday, and I daresay we found it.

It was a whole day of activities – art, music, family.  The afternoon was spent making a mask for the evening’s Procession of the Species parade, a walking art exhibit celebrating biodiversity.  Standing at the ready were the giant masks and costumes already created for the event, like the owl above.  We learned that the weeks preceding the event offered workshops for the general public to create their own costume.

The above deer costume was worn by two or possibly three people, a magnificent assemblage of paper mache and fabric construction.  Sporting a slightly smaller version was this wee deer, bearing a headdress made cooperatively by the whole family.

The Boy took his job as Twig Antler Supervisor very seriously.

When the time came for the procession, we volunteered to march with some already-prepared animals.  Daddio headed up the mammals with The Bison standard, and a Wee Deer at his side.  Momma and Errol held a whimsical blue eyelashed paper mache bird.

Darwin was there – quite the fun-loving guy, that one.

The Procession was led by a drummer and a masked accordion player, and we marched through the park, the procession culminating  around the bonfire pit that was to be lit later in the evening.  Oh – the energy!  The spectacle!  The explosion of color!  It was magical.  It felt like home.

Isadora was a bit star-struck, following Earth Mother around, holding her giant, all-encompassing hand.  With a contented, almost-bursting heart, I looked on with great pride and satisfaction.  We may live in the country now, but Madison will forever be my city.  Gosh I love it here.

The bonfire was a dramatic conclusion befitting the exuberant joy of the day, and roared to the pulse laid down by a legion of drummers.  How deliciously pagan it was, dancing before the Solstice bonfire to the beat of dozens of drums.  To have found a way to celebrate the day was itself so satisfying, but to be able to celebrate within a community of others magnified that joy tenfold.

Those of us that were still awake at night’s end made plans for next years’ celebration, where we will be sporting a family of handmade costumes.

It was a blessed, blessed day.

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