Happy Midsummer to those who celebrate!
I’ll be honest; this isn’t a festival that normally gets lot of attention from me. In pagan Scandinavia it was considered one of the three great holidays of the year, with the biggest sacrifices being made in the spring for victory, at Midsummer for the coming harvest, and at Yule to keep the unpredictable spirits of the Wild Hunt at bay. At Midsummer, the faeries and landwights were propitiated for the health and abundance of that year’s crops, and in one of the sagas a Christian visiting Iceland from Norway is told that if he interrupts this important festival “Odin will be angry.”
But especially since we moved to Oregon, mid-June is generally too hot for me to feel very ambitious about any type of religious celebration, especially one that traditionally tends to happen outdoors. June is also the height of allergy season for me (or at least it seems to be this year!), and for the last several years of Corbie J’s life it was also health crisis season: every summer, there was some new and expensive life-threatening emergency for him. Last year at this time, the now-infamous Oregon wildfires of 2017 were in full swing, and–depending on the direction of the wind–more days than not saw choking smoke pouring into Eugene, making the air thick and unbreathable. For Jo (who has asthma) it was bad. For Corbie (who was struggling with chronic heart failure)…Well, halfway through the summer we were pretty sure it was going to be his last.
So, now Midsummer is unavoidably a time when Corbie is heavily on my mind–especially this year, our first without him. For me, I think this holiday is always going to be a somewhat quiet one, a time to pause–just as the sun is doing–to reflect on what has passed thus far before embarking on the second half of the year. Of course, even though we are still missing Corbie we now have Molly, and to say she is a source of much joy would be an understatement. This Midsummer, she has been with us for a little over six months–definitely cause for celebration! So here are some photos taken on walks with her (my very favorite activity of each day!), showing Eugene in full bloom! Strolling though our city streets in June is very much like wandering into Oz or fairyland, with an abundance of roses, lavender, cherry trees heavy with fruit, and overblown poppies everywhere.