We celebrated the solstice with two very different parties on a day that felt just how Summer Solstice should feel. The first was wild and raucous, with a band, swimming pool, trampoline, zip line, and badminton. The second was a quiet bonfire with kids riding bikes through the grass and poking the fire with sticks.
The two combined were the perfect lead in for what summer is for us: a time to cram in as much outdoor fun, games, and adventure as we can in 2 1/2 months; and a chance to kick back with friends and let go of schedules while the children play in the mud well past bedtime.
The bees arrived a few weeks ago and are busy with their sisters (and a few brothers) in the bee yard. I purchased two new nucs, to replace the one I lost to swarm late last fall, and the other that I combined with my weaker hive. That "double" hive survived the winter, and now there are three hives full of bees. When the wind is right the smell of honey is magical.
Kale has his own little garden bed this year and dutifully harvests what he can, along with gathering the eggs, several times daily.
One of the parties we attended was an Juhannus Party, a Finnish celebration of the Solstice. According to our Finnish friend the direct translation is "midsummer celebration" which is a strange name for the first day of summer. But then again, she reminded us, "summer in Finland is very short!"
It feels that way here some times too. In acknowledgement of the short season we brave cold water in May, squeezing in as much swimming as we can, until that last warm afternoon in October. But this spring didn't offer us any opportunities for pretend early summer. Now that its officially here we're living it up. State Park swimming one day, crab gathering on the seashore the next, followed by pond swimming off the end of the john boat, and camping this weekend. It feels a bit overwhelming, and entirely necessary. June in Maine is good.
This boy is happy to be out of school!