Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Honoring Nature on the Summer Solstice

“We are undeniably part of the universe, and so too, therefore is the process of awakening. …The path of the sun is symbolic of the path of consciousness/spirit in its journey to awakening, and the solstices and equinoxes are this journey’s major stages.” Angela and Mark Pritchard, The Path of the Spiritual Sun

“Today’s fast-paced lifestyle allows for few if any opportunities to notice such natural occurrences as the solstices and equinoxes, which are barely given a calendar nod as the first day of spring and the first day of winter,” says Beth Brown-Rinella, owner of Goddess I AM. The summer solstice, which occurs this year on June 21 at 6:07 a.m., comes when the northern hemisphere is at its most extreme angle toward the sun. Winter solstice conversely occurs when it’s farthest away. The spring (vernal) and fall (autumnal) equinoxes, always around March 21 or September 21, are when the amount of sunlight and darkness in a day are about equal.

Ideas for Summer Solstice Celebrations

“Today’s summer solstice celebrations bear little resemblance to those that occurred at historical sacred sites such as Stonehenge, in Wilshire, England, and Easter Island, in Polynesia. However, current celebratory versions still honor the power of nature with outdoor activities,” says Laurie Barraco, owner of Mystical Moon, with locations in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers.

Southwest Floridians can celebrate by taking a walk through any one of Collier County’s 16 parks or any of Lee County’s 38 parks, Naples Botanical Garden, Happehatchee’s labyrinth, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates botanical gardens or along any of our beautiful beaches. With the extra daylight, there’s plenty of time for a longer walk, preferably without a cell phone.

Other suggestions for the occasion are cooking seasonal foods using the bounty of organic produce now available. Pack them up as a picnic lunch and head for the beach. Prepare a late dinner and light candles as the sun is setting. Add another fire element by cooking on the grill.

Throw a few logs into the fire pit and light up the night under the waxing Strawberry Moon. Make a summer wish while tossing in a few herbs such as vervain, lavender or St. John’s Wort to ignite the passion for making the wish come true. Make solstice sun tea by adding fresh herbs and flowers to water in a jar. Cover and leave in the sun.

Buy a new journal to use for reflection and prioritizing goals for the coming season and revisit New Year’s resolutions for any progress or need for hitting the reset button.

Create a flower wreath of orange, yellow and red flowers for the front door, the dinning room table or on the head.

Add a little musical fun. Locate John Denver’s Sunshine on My Shoulders or Katrina & The Waves’ Walking on Sunshine on Pandora, Spotify or iTunes and sing along.

Local Resources

Goddess I AM, 600 Goodlette Rd., Naples. 239-228-6949. GoddessIAM.com.

Mystical Moon, 8951 Bonita Beach Rd., Ste. 255, Bonita Springs. 239-301-0655; 8890 Salrose Ln., Ste. 107, Ft. Myers. 239-939-3339. TheMysticalMoon.com.

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