The Longest Day, Communing with Nature and Other Diatribes

The longest day of the year is not until Tuesday, June 21st – but I will be celebrating it in a couple of ways today. First, there is the Revels North Summer Solstice Festival – a free event that takes place in Norwich that usually draws 1000 or more participants. There’s singing and dancing, food and crafts. Most of all there’s an awareness of the season and a sharing of the awareness of the moment through song with a bunch of friends. Thanks Revels for making it all possible!

Tonight, there’s a summer party at Jo Jo’s, which is another type of communion for me. There’s only a few things that top getting on stage and playing extended jams into the night with my rock star brothers. There’s a place we go where I swear we converse. Not with words, but with notes and volume dynamics. The audience picks up on the conversation too, and becomes a bigger part of the sharing. Together we channel the energy back out to the universe.

Helen and I sing in the St. James Church choir in Woodstock, so we go to church A LOT. Every Sunday, I spend time trying to figure out what communion is all about. Today, I will commune with my friends with a stomp on the ground and a shout to the sky. That’s how I’ll celebrate the height of the summer solstice. I’ll leave church to tomorrow.

Morning On the Ottauquechee

Ottauquechee River during ice-out, April 2005

We live across the street from the Ottauquechee River. It’s a popular trout-fishing spot and several fishing guides lead their charges to it during spring, summer and fall. We watch them park across the street; friends know they can park in our driveway.

One of the guides, Marty Banak of Wilderness Trails, has beaten a path through the brush down to the water’s edge. I’m leery of the brush. Our first summer here I developed a whopping case of poison ivy after a walk down there.

During the summer, you can barely see the river from our front porch, but you can hear it. During the winter, it is quite visible. But it is silent. We always know spring has truly arrived the first night we lie in bed and can hear the rush of the waters after ice-out.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man