The meteorological summer is defined as June, July and August, so always begins on Thursday, June 1 and ends on August 31. This year the astronomical summer started on Thursday, June 21, on the day known as the summer solstice. So when is summer?
We have just passed the Summer Solstice or Longest Day when the summer tide was at its peak. Did you know that in the Old Calendar the summer season ran from May through to July inclusive, being set by the Solar time piece centring around the Longest Day. This time of the year, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the time of maximum growth, for I am sure those people who have to mow their lawns may gripe but it is a wonderful time of abundance and colour. Vegetables, hedgerows, fields and woodland are bursting with life, as well as those lawns. The surrounding fields have been absolutely filled with foxgloves. And there is no rest for the wicked for at the Mill the leats will have to be cleared this month if we are to have electrical power, for the recent growth tends to choke the water flow. Thank goodness that from now on the grass will have lost its lusty strength and things slow down a bit. The Old Calendar would say that summer is on its last gasp.
To my way of thinking that Old Calendar makes a lot of sense. Today’s convention of Summer being June, July, and August may be better as a convenience for taking holidays and enjoying sunshine but it is an arbitrary choice rather than a celestially fixed one. The Old Calendar ran in sync with the solar tide of growth and decline and there are many people who find their individual energy patterns are running more in line with nature and this solar cycle than with society’s conventions. For everyone else such a concept probably seems odd or downright weird, the stuff of eccentrics and New Age Odd Bods and not at all in line with a modern technological life style. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that there are far more people who would find living more in harmony and consciously aware of the age old pre-Christian ideas a more comfortable and less stressful life style altogether. Pity we cannot test that theory in some way.
Have a great summer however you acknowledge it!