Good afternoon on this wonderful June day. Hard to believe, isn't it? Seems like Christmas and New Year's was yesterday. Heck, I can't even remember my birthday; it went by so quickly.
June is the sixth month of the year, and Spring will end and Summer will begin on or about the 21st. June is named after the Roman Great Mother Goddess, Juno. The full moon this month is called the Hot or Strawberry Moon. June is known as the 'door of the year', the pathway to the inner realms. The Rune Dag which rules the middle of the month is the Rune of opening, representing the door that excludes bad things and admits only that which is beneficial. The Celtic tree Calendar month of the Hawthorn will end on the 9th and be followed on the 10th by the Oak Moon...which, by the way, also stands for Duir...opening to let the sun shine in. This is the month of the rose. The precious stone of the month is the agate.
"O, day after day, we can't help growing older,
Year after year Spring can't help seeming younger,
Come, let's enjoy our wine cup today,
Nor pity the flowers fallen."
--Wang Wie "On Parting With Spring."
Ah, so many special memories...Back when I was growing up, summer recess usually began about June 4th or 5th...pretty early in the month. And, even though we said good-bye to our classmates, it wasn't really a good-bye. We'd be seeing them throughout the summer. School itself was so different back then. I remember I went to this little house for kindergarten, then the following year, the grammar school on Canfield Avenue in Mine Hill. There was no such thing as 'middle school'. We went to grammar school right on up to the 8th grade when we graduated and moved onto the high school. And, all through grammer school, we stayed with the same classmates. I came from a small town to there were actually only two of each grade.
So, when summer recess began at 3 pm for that's when the day was over, (we went to school a full day, not this part-time stuff of today), we said our good-byes and walked gleefully down the mountain. Oh, we could have taken the bus, but, hey, to us it was the beginning of summer. And, oh, there was so much to look forward to...unlike today's youth who stay locked in front of the television or their computers. We had FUN things to do....bike riding from morning til night, camping out in the backyard, Bertrand Island Park on the weekends, an amusement park long since gone, but so many wondrous memories. Mom and dad both worked so I was left with lunch money...and each day I would have a meatball hero from the corner store...It was by far the best I have ever eaten, and to this day, I try to get my meatballs to taste like theirs, but, alas, there is always something missing.
Then, there was swimming at the lake. Gosh, what fun. It's always been strange with me and the water. I can swim, but as soon as I know the water is over my head, I sink. So, one day I got tired of going to the small raft and wanted to join my friends who went to the big raft...where the water was over your head...so I used my inner tube and swam on over there. Well, once on the raft, I began pretty brave and decided that, if I was going to be like the others, it would be all the way or not at all...so I jumped...without my tube...and I went down...and down...and down...and for the first and only time in my life, I realized what true fear was. Eventually, I did rise to the top, but even at that young age, I was already my independent self and refused to ask for help. I remember clearly how I was sure I was going to drown as I swam towards the shore...and instead of getting closer, it felt like it was getting farther and farther away. I'll tell you one thing, it's the last time I did anything like that.
So, with the month of June upon us, I take this time to celebrate summer's past and present...the season of the light. May we once again experience that special joy we felt as children as we usher in the new season. Happy memories!!!!