Wednesday, June 21, 2017

National Aboriginal Day/Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice has always been a very special time for me, and as the years pass it becomes increasingly more significant.

Yesterday I heard a friend say he loved the Summer Solstice but it had a bitter sweetness to it. He expressed that knowing it's the time when there's the most hours of sunlight, and said he looks so forward to, but it saddened him knowing that the days and months to follow, mean there will be lessening hours of sunlight every day. I got the impression he thought it was very unfair. Perhaps he is right but life certainly can be that way. I've learned to remain hopeful and to have courage, in spite of the unfairness in life and have learned to thrive.

I thought about this and I understood the way my friend was feeling. At the same time, I know we can't have the light without the dark, and this is reflected in every aspect of our lives and it is all part of the life cycle.

On the Summer Solstice 37 years ago I married my soul and spirit partner, the late William Hackett. We met at the Young Street Mission in Toronto, Ontario. I think I fell in love immediately after hearing his laughter and when I laid eyes on him..

Bill was a writer, very much a romatic and "heard a different drummer."  We use to love to just hang out and roam around the city. On one such ocassion we wandered into a store with posters. Bill found this beautifully illustrated poem and bought it for me. I was deeply touched and treasure it always.

"Love" - Roy Croft

My late husband's mother was Cree. But Bill never talked about his Indigenous family history.  I have no doubt if Bill was living today, he'd be very engaged in his cultural heritage. He was not a religious man but a very spiritual, deep thinker. He had a great sense of humour, humility and a great love for humanity.

 Nova Scotia was very much his home in spite of being brought up in the heart of the Toronto. When we moved to my home in Nova Scotia, he absolutely loved it and felt a strong connection with the land and the peace it offered his soul.

I don't think it was a coincidence that we were married on the longest day of the year on Summer Solstice, National Aboriginal Day and there is much to be celebrated. As my friend said, Summer Solstice can be happy and sad, like many other celebrations that can be bittersweet, but today I choose the sweetness and to be very grateful.


I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

Bill and Me - Toronto 1980


thesycamoretree said...

Y'all look so happy in that picture! Made me smile. It's hard not to be drawn to people who have a great laugh. Happy Solstice and NA Day dear Catherine. :)

Unknown said...

Lol we really were Bev. We were big time buds. Thank you <3 He had such a wonderful crazy sense of humour and lit up the room. I learned so much from him and his spirit, and I'm still learning.

Thank you Bev. Solstice Blessings to you on this National Aboriginal Day <3