Chris Fahrenthold: Summer Solstice Grace

             Some Dance in the Shadows, by Mary Hatch, oil on canvas 1985, 48” x 60”



Summer Solstice Grace

It is the cardinal day of the calendar we share with nature,
    neither Julian nor Gregorian
        neither Jewish, Muslim, nor Chinese
             but the one that governs the coleus, plankton, and black bear.

It is the day
one of some ancient tribe saw something
peculiar in the days before and after,
    that we could quantify a cyclical magic in the world,
    perhaps even the first day we knew we could place ourselves in time.
And so now we grow with the plants and animals
    who know these things, while we can merely notice them.

So on midsummer let us celebrate our noticing the world,
    And that this ability makes us special
    And also that it doesn’t—
    That the rest of creation plays by ear what we
        with the consolation of science have forgotten;
And so we throw a party
    We have dinner with friends
        and we make mindful, joyful use of this long day.


Chris Fahrenthold

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