Friday, 24 June 2011

Solstice Sex, Partying and Hilltop Reflections

A few days before the solstice two friends shared a birthday and the usual suspects gathered to eat, drink and make merry, with the obligatory musical feast. (Rima and Tom  [Edit: also make a moment for Coyopa] had to bargain hard to eat before they played!) Below is also Howard and, under the hat, David. To the right is one of Dartmoor's finest fairies. Only don't call her a fairy because today she may be a princess. And she was running about with a (water-firing) machine gun, so approach with caution!

 Handsome men had earnest discussions by the fireside in time-honoured fashion (although I have reason to believe they may have been discussing computer games)

and the children's energy outlasted the dogs' as they charged up and down from fire to orchard, with only minor incidents (e.g. "Mummeeee, he's weeing on my leg!").

On  the actual (calendar) solstice, I found this happening in our pond:

 I knew these were Red Eyed Damselflies, but I couldn't understand what they were doing. Before they landed on this grass head, they were flying around with her dangling off his, um, tail (?) and it looked most peculiar! 

Turns out (having consulted my friendly local ecologist who usefully was in my living room), he (on top) was depositing a package of sperm on the back of her neck (feminism is slow in the damselfly world, but at least she doesn't have hair to worry about) which would then slide down her back (there MUST be a better way, surely) and fertilise her eggs as she laid them in water, later that day.

Afterwards, she flew off and he rested on a leaf for a bit, eyed hungrily by one of our little frogs, who is just a bit too small for such long fare.

That solstice evening, we marched up the hill we live on (me panting quite a bit with no-longer-very-Ickle Pickle on my back) and sat enjoying the mixed skies and reflecting on the view of the hill across the valley, where Ent and I got married in October 2009. We still chuckle about making everyone walk up that hill.

And I had a quiet moment for my lost boy. The prayers I have said between these stones...

The dark clouds blundered across us without spilling and we celebrated the turn of the light-tide with cider, chocolate and a fab aeroplane - Jason's Fathers Day present. (Ent received a magnifying bug viewer - a tie would only be a comedy gift around here!)

And best of all, better even than chocolate, is the fact that my girl believes the whole world lives like this, that it's normal to play music around fires; watch life happen in your own garden pond; climb a hill with friends and gaze out over miles and miles of green. 

Right now I'm struggling with symptoms of a chronic auto-immune disease and sometimes that weighs down my mood, but then I have days like this and I am so grateful for all the good things in my life. My hope is that such good things find you as the shadows roll in (or out, down there).


  1. Lunar, I think that the folks in your area and mine should meet. I think we would be complimenting flavors. Your fireside solstice celebration looks wonderful.

    What you said in the end of your first paragraph about a princess fairy with a watergun made me laugh. There's something of modern childhood there, I think. It seems to me that children are exposed to (and also just *sense* ) that the world is vast and overlapping. They take a pinch of this and a dash of that and become pastiche artists, more than the sum of their parts. Don't know if that makes sense :)

    The frog eying the dragonfly wants to be an illustration for a fairytale. There's something captivating there. Maybe because I didn't see the frog at first, then when I looked for him, my heart jumped! I was a little worried for the dragonfly.

    I honor that the life experience of my children is all majesty and beauty and people wanting to communicate with one another. They think it is so totally normal, they won't have hangups about enjoying beauty. Your beautiful wee one has the same blessing, and it is deeply good.

    All the best to your family,
    Happy Solstice <3

  2. AnonymousJune 24, 2011

    hi luna
    we haven't met
    i read this via susie's facebook
    just wanted to say i love it
    i'm living in a rather politically unstable country where peaceful protesters are shot, imprisoned and tortured, amongst other strange occurrences!
    i used to live near the downs and your piece made me so warm and happy
    just what i need right now
    thank you
    good luck
    keep up the joy making

  3. Clare, yes, the kids know how to handle the world - take what you want and don't take any of it too seriously. I don't know how else to make peace in the world other than to surround the next generation in all the goodness we can.
    Which brings me to Julia. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. When I write posts like this I wonder if people whose lives don't look this way think I'm smug or critical or, worse, whether it is hurtful to read about the good things we have here. So thank you again for letting me know that it can bring joy. That is really all I want to do. Good luck to us all in that.

  4. everybody should be able to live like this ... I wish i did
    thanks for sharing

  5. Thanks Martine. I hope some things move in the direction you want soon.

  6. Thanks for the Twitter follow. I both love and sorrow over what you say here: " girl believes the whole world lives like this, that it's normal to play music around fires; watch life happen in your own garden pond; climb a hill with friends and gaze out over miles and miles of green." It reminds me of a similar feeling when I was her age, and of the fact that so many today don't live like this.

  7. Thank you, Tess. Yes, love and sorrow both for me. I'll keep the dream alive for her as long as I can and create it as well as I can for the rest of us... it's a big job!

  8. Hi Lunar, what a beautiful way to celebrate...well, celebrate anything really! We managed to celebrate midwinter in a similar, though much smaller fashion...just my little family in a small suburban backyard, a mini bonfire in an old barbeque, marshmallows and my guitar. And we imagined how wonderful it would be without the traffic going past and the planes going over...we will get there one day. And as parents, I guess all we can do is to give our children the best, most loving and accepting start in life we can, so that when they discover that there are parts of the world, and of life, that are hard, hurtful, cruel and depressing, they carry with them that sense of love and nurture so that they have the strength not only to carry on, but help others carry on too. And little by little we change the world.

    Thinking of you and your beautiful boy too.

    xxx Christina

  9. Christina, lovely to hear from you as ever. The last sentence was written with you in mind. There's much magic when a family, a fire and a guitar come together, and you have expressed my feelings so perfectly. Thank you. Happy midwinter!

  10. thank you so much for the comment on my page. very kind words, much appreciated. this is a beautiful post. the world you have created for your daughter sounds like a very, very nice place. What a fabulous way to celebrate the solstice. Good thoughts and prayers going your way. : ) julia

  11. Thank you Julia. Yes, this is a blessed corner of the world (although it's raining on the nappies I hung out this morning!) I hope you get a good rest over the holidays.


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