Living North enough to see the sun pause for three days is quite possibly one of my favorite things to do in summer. No matter what science and rationale says, there’s simply something magical about it: warm summer breeze, light at night as if it was a still evening, songs by the open fire, and going to look for the mythical fern blossom.
In that fragrant summer air you can’t help but wonder about your ancestral past and what could those people have possibly been doing on a night like this. All sorts of ridiculous divination about marriage, children and family seems just a little bit less untrue in the light of the open fire and you DO choose that charcoal and try to make out your future that only you can make, but darn it, that coal might just know better.
Time stops for one night as well, sleep fades away and at midnight you go and you look for that fern blossom, which doesn’t really exist, but at that moment, for you and your companions, it does. Even if you don’t find that mythical flower, you find that special something, that connection with millions of others before you that did the same thing for various, more pragmatic reasons and even if you do it for fun, you somehow feel closer to them for it. You will watch grown men jump over fire to determine their agility and women weaving wild flower garlands and it all seems just a little less rural and a little more…magical and meaningful.
Midsummer also reminds me strongly about Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s dream (1595/96) and if you ever been with a group of people in the forest on one of these light nights, you’ll know that faeries are, if not real, then very active in your imagination and guide you and trick you into happiness and romance, but somehow don’t get you lost and alone. If anything, the Midsummer is the time to make magic where none existed and in the world of rationality, this is an opportunity to allow yourself to be fooled into believing there’s more to the lush forest than meets the eye.
I always go to the forest when I can. It’s clean and silent and after city’s fast pace and endless sounds it’s refreshing and calming. It’s also a huge source of inspiration and admiration and I love nothing more than a stroll through a pine needle-covered footpath, discovering all the strange adaptations of the small critters and changes over time that happened while I was gone. But let me tell you, dear reader, things change during these three days. The scenery changes: birds are more alive and insects are active like never before and even small rodents don’t hide as much anymore. Life is overflowing everywhere and flowers reach higher and bloom brighter.
So, dear reader, if you’re looking for a little bit of magic in your life, visit the forest tonight, or start a small fire and watch the flames and take in the gifts of nature and leave time behind you and have a little dream of the past and imagine a little bit of the future.
“If we shadows have offended,
Know but this and all is mended.
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear,
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream.”
― William Shakespeare,