Laurelin Community has a Midsummer tradition, and it involves this antique wheel.
On the evening of the solstice we wrap flexible glow sticks around its spokes, and with a lot of effort we roll it up the high hill in the field. Then, in the darkness, we let it go. As you can imagine, a wheel that heavy builds up serious momentum with every turn. When it reaches the bottom of the hill there is no stopping it: it blazes across the field, setting its own course, until it finally topples over, spent.
Sometimes it feels like the year at Laurelin Retreat follows the same pattern. The long, cold winter is like the trek up the hill, rolling the weight that seems to increase with every step. Even as the season changes to mud (spring), and then begins to flirt with summer (warm sun, cold nights, long days of rain), it seems that the journey to the top of the hill is still so far from complete.
We are edging up to the solstice now, and the peak of the hill is in sight!
The Firefly Arts Collective has begun to hold work weekends to prepare the site for their epic event. They have been taking down dead trees and clearing paths, among other improvements.
We have been gearing up for our Pagan Meet-up in Montpelier this Saturday.
We have been planning and prepping for the wedding of our good friends, and are delighted that they choose to have their ceremony here, where so many memories are shared.
We have been working out the ritual for Midsummer, because it’s not just rolling a wheel down a hill!
And, of course, Lughnasadh is not far from our minds. It’s easy to get lost in the Elemental spirits on beautiful days like today.
In that sense, the year at Laurelin is truly like the solstice wheel: once you get to the top, once the peak of summer is reached and the wheel begins its descent, it flies by. If we’ve done it right, all there is for us to do at that moment is celebrate the sight of it, and share in the warm breezes and companionship.