Summer settles in

July 5, 2014 

Only now is summer making itself known. Uncut meadows stand high with ripening grass and the heavens laden with summers stars that marked the shifting of seasons are moving on, with the sun’s hottest days of the year still to come.

We have now entered the height of summer when days and nights are just beginning to assert themselves with the full glory of misty sunrises and steaming evenings. In between, man and mule swelter and seek shelter from the blistering noon-day sun. Welcome is the rumbling of thunder as Thor’s fire-laden hammer spews spark and flame, enticing anvil clouds to yield life-sustaining walls of rain.

Early peoples measured their days by observing this week’s waxing moon as it reflected its magic perfection on the still waters of summertime. Few would fail to be charmed by the hypnotic effect of its glowing silver magic. This, the first full moon following the summer solstice, was known to the American natives as the “Thunder Moon.”

This is the time of the magical firefly. In parts of Asia, people valued these light-emitting insects as they collected them in lanterns, much as the children do today. The Japanese hold firefly festivals – hotari matsuri – in their honor; others associate the self-illuminated insects as the ghosts of lost stars.

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