Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Art of Celebrating

With the Summer Solstice last week and some birthdays coming up, I’ve been giving some thought to how we celebrate these special days. My family marks time with our Earth Cycle calendar, a beautifully illustrated poster; a circle which marks the months, seasons and the solstices, equinoxes and moon cycles.

Our celebrations are simple. Most importantly, I want them to be fun and pretty much stress-free. For our summer solstice celebration, my husband and kids simply roasted marshmallows over a backyard bonfire and caught fireflies. I was with my amazing book club women and we discussed ‘living closer to the numinous wild’ (Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from Women Who Run With the Wolves). It was a perfect evening.

And then the birthdays. Again, it’s simple. I don’t do fancy cakes, parties, or order custom printed M&M’s. But what we do is from the heart. We string up a special birthday banner, the birthday child wears their birthday crown, and we show pictures and tell stories of each year of the child’s life, while they walk around the ‘sun’ (a colored ball) holding the ‘earth’ (another colored ball). They beam and feel so loved as we laugh and tie our stories like strings together, weaving them into a fabric of their life. We give a few simple presents, but they are not the focus.

On full moon nights we wait and watch for the moon to come out, and run up and down the sidewalk in the moonlight, maybe in playsilk capes, and soak up some moonbeams. And this July we’re resuming our Summer Soiree, which we haven’t done for a few years. We look forward to re-connecting with friends on a hot summer night. It will be simple and perfect. And that, to me, is the Art of Celebrating.

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