“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
The summer solstice came on Saturday, and now the day is declining again. I love the solstices – especially the summer solstice when we celebrate the changing tide of light to dark, and the birth of St. John the Baptist, the fore-runner of Christ. The birth of John the Baptist today, used to be a celebrated with more enthusiasm. It falls directly across from Christmas and just as Christmas, which celebrate the Incarnation at a time when light is triumphing over darkness; at the feast of John the Baptist, we celebrate the fore-runner, who decreases as the coming of Christ approaches, preparing the way for Him.
There is a rumor that if someone was to go wandering in the woods on St. John's Eve, at midnight, when the feast is just begining, he might find a fire-flower - which blooms only for a moment. If he can find and pick this flower his life will be blessed and the scent of it will hang about him forever. We have no woods to wander, but someday, I would like to go looking for this flower.
It’s unfortunate that the days have been too grey to fully appreciate their length. We’ve had no real sun for at least four day. We’ve filled the house with flowers to try and brighten things, and I am trying to keep the floors as clean and bright as possible. The wood is such a warm honey color and it reflects what little light there is, but I miss how it looks in the summer sun when it glows. I hope this summer will not be like the last- too rainy to grow radishes, but it certainly has started out that way. Our first planting of radishes are already waterlogged, I’m sure.
A friend of ours came over yesterday and she’s reading War and Peace. I wish she lived nearer, I miss conversations like the one we had. I think I’ll begin the Death of Ivan Illych today, I wish I could find Divine and Human. Tolstoy is ideal for rainy days, cold tea, and sourdough bread.