Image for First Day July ... a Solstice celebration

Amazing when the sun comes up over Spring Bay and I’m up and about and drawn to it for photo opportunities. In particular, it is most impressive when it rises through cloud and illuminates the shadows of the night with incandescent brilliance. On the shortest day of the year, June 21, the Winter Solstice beckons as a beacon not just for photo ops but to that arcane spirit within us all.

I am the only person on the pathway above the bay to watch its rise and to muse on the magic of the message in the sun and its silent rise to its dominance in our heavens. It is above and beyond the collective follies of humankind that takes this grand Lord Orb for granted. It was here for our birth and will be there when we wipe ourselves from Mother Earth.

It transcends the chatter and clatter of we lice who have infested modern civilization with our meaningless importances and this day seems to be harumphing at our universal apathy at sleeping through its solstice dawning and not celebrating it as once the ancients did.

Solstice is Latin for Sol and sistere, to stand still and that’s what I’m doing, frozen in awe of its grandeur as I await the perfect time to take that first snap.Got it! I snap away, thinking of the ancients who worshipped it as kids might have played with gargantuan Stonehenge dominoes. The spell is broken by a man and his dog, regular visitors to this beach. Sea birds scatter in panic as it races amongst them. The sun frowns behind a large cloud and I head home. My wife is up and a cuppa placed before me as I transfer the images into my laptop.

“Why up so early?”

“It’s the Winter Solstice. Getting some shots of the sun coming up. Beautiful.”

“Don’t you have enough of them already?”

“Shortest day today dear.”

“Good, I can’t wait for summer.”

“Summer? I hate it. People, dogs, cars ... noise.”

“I’ve heard it all before, dear. Your tea’s getting cold.”

- Extract from Briar Earth (Paul’s first foray into fiction) …

He wheeled about and dipped his wings to the sun…and cleansed his soul with a piercing screech, heralding the dawn. The sun-tide had begun its rush through the valley so far below him. What a profound sight! He never tired of the glory of the sunrise. The immense authority of the mighty sun!

“Good morning, Lord Orb,” he screeched again, his shrill cry rattling the crystal calm.

This was Eego’s dawn game. Screech the shadows of the valley away. Serve the Sun. He watched the massive wave of incandescent light roll across the landscape. It was on its Divine mission to exterminate every trace of the night world. His screeching intensified into a continuous cry of praise for the power of the sun and the power of the eagle. A warning to the world below: beware the Eagle feeds on the dawn.

“Beware below… beware…! The shadow of the Eagle is everywhere!”

Hundreds of feet below, his mate craned to find a mere speck in the heavens and sighed to her fledgelings.

“If I hear that just once more…I think I’ll screech!”

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