When Midsummer's Eve arrives, when the sun rolls high to the north, and darkness is driven away, the Swedes celebrate the longest day. Herring and Cheese, Smoked Eel and Sausage, Beer and Gamel Dansk and Vodka meet fresh herbs and spices...fruits and berries...rye bread and potatoes. Flowers appear in liquid, flashing eyes and laughing lips... and twine in fragrant locks, bright as morning as smiles. Desire deep as the North Sea roars at passion's gate. The long wait is over. The long twilight shimmers with flowers and nightburn, belly deep and strong. The age old, undertow speaks, seeking this one summer night.
The elders recollect memories unsullied by long years . Lyric voices share them in the tales turned legend. For a singular night, darkness is banished. Light reigns supreme....Ah, and then, beloved, the cycle begins again.
Generations listen, intent on tales they have heard since childhood, certain that nothing has changed. Only they who tell the tales change. Thinning white hair and lined faces, uncertain steps grow ever more ancient. Yet eyes glitter, undimmed by age as the sing-song Nordic voice recalls tales of sea and bird, elk and moose, flowers and fish.
Youth and that ethereal, Scandinavian lightness of being, beauty blooms in the early summer, glows in the fertile breast and belly. Haunted by the long winter dark, this, this is the night when all the Grendels and Goblins and dark, skulking creatures are driven from the heart and land and summer reigns a season long.
Currants, gooseberries, raspberries, loganberries, cloudberries, strawberries, blueberries first to punctuate the green on green undergrowth. Then color bowls of clotted creme, whipped creme and light golden breads.
In the old city, written words come alive. The tale of a witch dancing in a mortar, living in a shack that walks the dark night on chicken legs. A troll, exacting a toll under a stone bridge hungry for a goat leg joint. Men who are bears who eat men live in the earth mother's womb. All the dark underbelly whispers are driven away. This is the night, midsummer night light stays and does not stray.
Another family, fed on the tales and the bounty of that northern finger of land nestled 'tween her Skandi neighbors. Sweden remains.
And I the gardener, half the world and all the culture disperate. I, the "trädgårdsmästare" turn this new found soil. Its fertile fragrance rolling deep, pulling at my core. Heat from the sun and heat from the deep meld and twist in a long inner serpent coil. It's no wonder the Beltane fires are still lit and the May pole, the "midsommarstång" still rise and burn, ecstatic fire on the night when darkness is banished. Both the sweet summer soil and summer's lass look to take seed to self and grow ripe a new generation.
One of the wonders of God is this deep and diverse fecund Spirit that he has breathed into all of his children across this broken world. The rich stories and deep longings, so alike and yet, so unique. I stand in awe at depth and breadth of God's creative power. His Spirit burns bright in Mankind's heart and mind.