Same, same, but different

Midsummer's eve.  I love it.  I love everything about it - the golden sunlight bathing everything in the evening.  The smell of honey wafting from the field, the wildflowers of all colours and shapes in glorious profusion, the wild strawberries you can eat straight from the field.  The songs, the traditions, the gathering of like-minded souls, some old friends, others people I've never met.  Jem the fire master setting up awesome burning rafts, cartwheels, posts.  The few hours of "darkness" between sunset and sunrise, when the sky never goes completely black, but stays that beautiful shade of deep blue.  The homemade cheese and beer and strawberries and rhubarb slice that people bring to the celebration.  The mist down by the lake as we watch the sky growing lighter, the way all the birds call wildly as the sun comes up again.  The purple-red sky before the golden orb rises, the bittersweet melancholy that takes you over when you remember the days are now going to get shorter again.  Every year we go through the same process, the same rituals, but every year it is different.  Different mix of people, different ways of getting through the dark hours, different reflections on the year that has gone and the year that is to come.

Can you see what I'm holding...  that explains my self-satisfied expression

Procession up the hill to watch the sunset

Burning last year's wreaths

Watching the bonfire

Walking down to the lake around 4am - Mikus was the youngest kid who stayed awake till sunrise.  Lovable, stubborn tyke

Jem's last fire show - a burning raft

Here comes the sun

3 Responses so far.

  1. So many amazing things here. The sun really does not properly set? At all? Freaky.
    Tiss looks so much like Jem at times and Mikus so much like you all the time.
    Bonfires, huge plates of food, excuses for random fire lighting- we really need to come over in a mid June sometime soon. I have becomre more aware of the seasons in this house, could really feel that longest darkest day of the year this time( partly as we are all sick)and we can't even whinge as we are not dealing with months of dark snow and crap soviet heating systems.

  2. L. says:

    Beautiful pics as usual. What is the significance of the bonfire at Midsummer, though? I can see the rationale for one in the middle of winter, that's kind of obvious, but midsummer bonfires baffle me.

  3. Mook says:

    Hi L!
    Midsummer's eve is all about fire - I guess because it's a symbol for light. As we say "goodbye" to the sun on the shortest night of the year, the fire is lit - and it stays with us until the sun rises the next morning. All very symbolic I guess. Also midsummer night is traditionally also a dangerous night, when witches and bad spirits roam about. That's part of the reason why you don't sleep on that night - to guard your homestead - and fire is obviously one of those magical protective things. Wouldn't you say? Cheers, M

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