The Fullest Day, Cleeve Hill

Is it just me or is there something magical about the summer solstice? For me it conjures up images of our primitive ancestors hobbling into congregation around Stone Henge, waiting in the dim hues of dawn to welcome a new day. Isn’t it an utterly incredible thought that the ball of gas we gaze upon today is the same one those early humans gathered to worship around thousands of years ago.

I’m not in any way a religious person, but I would definitely consider myself to be a spiritual one. To think of how many extraordinary coincidences fell into place to bring us here, to make this world the beautiful, fragile, yet resilient planet we inhabit today is simply mind-blowing. I don’t follow the teachings or beliefs of the Church, but I offer up my sincerest thanks and humble gratitude for all that Mother Nature has given us. We simply got that lucky that a trillion and one conditions and possibilities fell into place just at the right time in order to bring us here. That sun has been consistent throughout our entire history, feeding us the strength and energy to carry out all of humankind’s greatest and most idiotic endeavours.

I want to make a tradition when Rupert’s just a little older, to always watch the sun go down on the longest day of the year, to appreciate the day and the year we have been given. Three years ago I remember seeing a Facebook post from one of our friends who was battling terminal cancer, and had been doing so for several years. He and his beloved wife ventured out to the hills on the summer solstice and did just this, gave thanks for the opportunity of being there and celebrated the time they had together. It was such a poignant gesture, knowing that he may not be around for the next one. Those two embraced every moment they had together and always, always wore a smile.

This year I ventured up to Cleeve Hill which is just a 5 minute drive from my house, a place that always holds spectacular views over Cheltenham. It was a flawlessly sunny evening and the skylarks were out to celebrate too. I had a little walk before finding a nice spot and settling down to enjoy the silent performance. What better way to take a little time and reflect.




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