1279 shopping days until 126.96.36.199.0 4 Ahau 3 K’ank’in.
How ’bout them tomatoes?
Today is also the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice–the first day of Summer, the longest day and the shortest night of the year, just as the Winter Solstice is the longest night and the shortest day. Among our circle of friends we have a fire ceremony which I made up off the top of my head for a Winter Solstice party a few years back, and which we perform at both the Solstices and the Equinoxes of the solar year. A once impromptu ritual is now an ingrained tradition, and if I forget part of it or get it wrong, I will immediately be reminded and corrected by the congregation.
It’s very simple and entirely ecumenical; doesn’t matter what you believe or whether you believe anything at all: the best kind of religious service, as far as I’m concerned. It goes like this. As the sun is going down, build a fire and light it, keep it burning. Go have something to eat and drink. We do a home prepared potluck feast, with plenty of beer and wine to go with, but what you will.
Each congregant sits down at some point in the evening and makes two lists on separate pieces of paper (we like to use Chinese joss paper). On one piece of paper write down a list of “Begones,” which is anything or anybody you wish to pass out of your life. On the other write out a list of “Will-Be-Dones,” which is anything or anybody you wish to come into your life. When all congregants have completed their lists–some people spend a lot of time on their lists, particularly the Begones–we all go out to the fire.
Each person picks a small piece of preferably aromatic wood out of a basket, and is given Chinese joss money to burn. Each person puts their piece of wood on the fire, one by one. Then the lists. Begones go first. As each person puts their list on the fire, everyone yells “BEGONE!” as loud as they please. Then go the Will-Be-Dones; all yell “WILL-BE-DONE!” with, of course, a will. Then everyone throws their joss money on the fire and yells “LET IT BURN!” That’s about it, really.
If you have a pope, which we do, he or she will pronounce a blessing, and give a short (short) homily. Then go back in the house and have another drink. Let the Begones be gone, let the Will-Be-Dones be done, and let us have money to burn. Prost!
By a nice coincidence, Father’s Day falls on the Summer Solstice this year, so don’t forget to toast your fathers, but not over the fire–unless you really like your fathers toasted–like marshmallows.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad
The cool Daddy in the white Caddy wishes well swished wishers swell wishes.
Nihil Obstat. Ego Pater Omed.