Today is the solstice and the official start of summer. In many parts of the world the solstice is celebrated with fires, chants and prayers. Because we live so far from the land and the natural world, the solstice isn't even worthy of a "sale" at Macy's. Summer for Tom and I was always a time of enormous activity. We had gardens, bailing hay and building projects. The kids got out of school, I was done with my classes and we went on summer rules. There are only three. Don't get hurt, don't complain, and dont be rude. Other than that, it was possible to eat ice cream and pringles for breakfast, sleep in your life jacket, spend an entire day mucking around in boats. We went to Maine for a few weeks and the kids learned to swim, sail, and generally poop around on there own. When home they pursued M and J enterprises which consisted of selling garden produce to the neighbors. At one point they had 600 bucks in a cookie tin under the bed with an accounting system worthy of the Ben Bernaki.
The solstice this year for us is one of reflection and intention. My new summer rule is to practice saying less and listening more - the rest will stay the same. We will sort out the new order of being, not making any big changes, not trying to learn everything in a day. It took a life time to get to this place there is no reason to assume speed is of the utmost importance. Still though I look back on summer rules and realize that as guiding principles for a well lived life they are pretty damn good.