I’ve recently been asked to write an occasional short (250 words) “Thought for the Week” for our local weekly newspaper “The Gazette” (15,000 circulation), and the first one will go out next week in time for the Summer Solstice. I’m putting my TFTW here in case it stimulates others to offer words of their own in their own locality. It also give you the chance to rip my words to bits – which proper word-smiths will tell you is extremely useful for improving their work!
“Thought for the Week” – for Thursday 18th June 2009ce
This weekend is the Summer Solstice; one of the major events in the Druid year, and for all folk who follow a Nature or Earth-based spiritual path. The tabloids will no doubt focus on those partying through the night at Stonehenge before they watch the rising Sun. The circle will be filled with colourful characters, jugglers and drummers, happy painted faces and energetic dancers. Somewhere in the crowds there will be Druids in formal robes holding a ritual to witness the Sunrise.
Many more Druids however will avoid the noise and crowds of Stonehenge and seek out the quiet places; woodland, river, hill and sea. Finding a sacred spiritual connection within the environment we will celebrate in ritual with friends or in solitary meditation. Our ancestors marked the longest day, and whether they viewed the Sun as a god or marked the Solstice in order to more accurately set out the farming year (or both) in marking it they located themselves on the turning wheel of the year.
Our modern life can insulate us from the seasons until we forget our relationship. In calendar terms half the year may be gone but a circle has no end, only the ever changing now. So take a moment; plant your feet, smell the sweet air and feel the land about you, and marvel at our wonderful, wonder filled planet. For a while at least, recall that we are an intrinsic part of the sacred song of life. Blessings of the High Sun.
Mark Rosher – The Druid Network
South Gloucestershire Faith & Belief Forum”