Saturday, June 20, 2015

Solstice, Fathers, Cattle, Poetry...

Sunday will find us once again at Summer Solstice - the longest day . For anyone who enjoys the summer - do take my share of the heat as well as your own. I heartily dislike this time of year in south western Oklahoma - too darned hot for this northerner, one born in the midst of winter too. Not to appear too churlish though, I should include Solstice Greetings to all. Enjoy it, wherever and however you can!

This year in the USA it's also Father's Day on Sunday. So, best wishes too, to any passing reader who is one of those: a father.

Unrelated to either Solstice or fathers, just to be obtuse ~~~

I enjoyed this video.

It reminded me of an old poem my mother used to recite (her name was Mary).

The poem, by Charles Kingsley:

"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee";
The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
And all alone went she.

The western tide crept up along the sand,
And o'er and o'er the sand,
And round and round the sand,
As far as eye could see.
The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
And never home came she.

"Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair--
A tress of golden hair,
A drownèd maiden's hair
Above the nets at sea?
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
Among the stakes on Dee."

They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
The cruel crawling foam,
The cruel hungry foam,
To her grave beside the sea:
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee.

From here
The Dee Estuary is currently one of the UK’s premier birdwatching locations for wetland and shore birds. With views of the Welsh hills beyond, the estuary is a hugely significant landscape in Cheshire and of international importance in ecological terms. ...........
The Estuary’s status as a place of mystery and legend was assured by Charles Kingsley’s poem The Sands of Dee which tells the tale of Mary and her death on the estuary. It captures the melancholy of the treacherous deserted flats and shifting sands. Rumour is that she can still be heard calling the cattle home to this day. It is a warning to treat the estuary with respect. Whether in summer or winter the estuary has a feeling of mystery with many stories to tell.

 The Dee Estuary (h/t here)

Oh... alright then, it's Father's Day, Sunday, so... a poem oft recited by my father, in remembrance of Dad, who died in 1992. He once gave me a framed version of this poem, it hung in my bedroom for many long years, until eaten by our Great Fire of 1996.

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Here we were, Mum, Dad and yours truly, ready for the rain, on vacation in Brighton - around 1947/8 I think.


Jefferson's Guardian said...

Stampede!! Amusing video, I agree...

And a happy summer solstice to you, also, my friend!

A couple of summers ago my Happy Your Yoga class that I teach on Friday evening happened to fall on the solstice, so I planned my class around a variety of asanas that paid tribute to the Sun, etc., etc. At the end of class during my final words before the final closing of Namaste, I mentioned that this day was the longest day of the year (and coincidentally, but maybe not, was to start at the exact time class was scheduled to conclude), and with tongue-in-cheek, that it "was all downhill from here and we're now heading for winter."

Well, the gasps and groans of discontent filled the room -- which certainly wasn't my intent. ;-)

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian ~ Hey J's G! LOL - I almost included "all downhill from here" in the first paragraph of this post, but decided against it, in case it was seen as depressing by any who enjoy the heat, or who live in more temperate climes and welcome a break from the cold and wet.

I hope you have a very pleasant Summertime 2015!

mike said...

And a Happy Solstice to you, Twilight, and all! Unfortunately, meteorological, summer-temperature-solstice doesn't occur here until about mid-August. We have about eight months of summer here at the Gulf...summer 1 (normal summer) is from March through June, summer 2 (tropical summer) is July through October. Tomorrow's solstice marks the halfway point for us in the deep south. I'm like you, Twilight, I don't enjoy the heat, particularly with stifling humidity...air you can wear, my weatherman on TV says. The four, condensed months of fall-winter-spring are very nice here! My years in Ventura, CA, and Boulder, CO, were wonderful, weather-wise. Every locale tends to have its own pros and cons, with weather being only one of the many considerations.

Fathers' Day...a commercial, retail boost to the corporate world and economy in general.

"Father’s Day may not be the most lucrative consumer holiday of the year for retailers, but spending for dad is expected to reach $12.7 billion for golf lessons, home improvement tools, coffee mugs and more."

"Mother’s Day spending was projected to hit $21 billion in 2015, with the average gift clocking in at more than $172—approximately 65% and 48% higher, respectively, than the corresponding Father’s Day figures."

"You're the world's greatest dad, although my frame of reference is limited" someecards

mike (again) said...

BTW - "The Wolfpack" is a Sundance film that was released nationwide yesterday. It's a documentary about six brothers and a sister that were sequestered by their father, locked in their small NYC apartment for fourteen years. They learned the outer world through their windows and a huge collection of movies they incessantly viewed. An amazing story. A weird father! I watched the ABC 20/20 presentation last night:

JD said...

Kipling's most famous poem, of course.
But did you know there is another poet who rejoices in the name of Ripyard Cuddling?

I kid you not! :)

Sonny G said...

Happy Solstice to Ya'll ~!

hottest may and june here in nc in 30 years.. its miserable by 10 am:(

Happy Fathers Day .. I know you are always close by Daddy.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Ah yes, weather could be even worse than here. I'm thankful that we're no further south or east where humidity is a regular problem. We have it this year, but usually we experience dry heat - still uncomfortable but doesn't fuzzy the mind quite as much.

Dad's and Mum's Days? Best not to become ensnared by it all. Love for parents can be expressed in simple ways...and all the time, not just on certain days of the year.

I'll investigate "The Wolfpack" - sounds a bit like Plato's Cave story (with added movies).

Twilight said...

JD ~ LOL! No I didn't know that. I see a relevant book advertised at Amazon with a foreword by Tony Benn (and that can never be a bad thing!) :-)

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Happy solstice and pleasant, not too extreme, summer to you too, Sonny. We're heading for the low 90s today. At least the drought is over for a while here, after many heavy storms and downpours.

JD said...

...forgot to add that I am here on latitude 55 degrees north which means that even at midnight there is still a tinge of blue in the northern sky: just checked and sunrise is 4:26 am and sunset is 9:48 pm (both at british summer time, one hour ahead of GMT) and it says 'length of visible light - 19h 18m)
Over the past week or so we have had clear skies and with Venus shining brightly in the west, setting at around midnight, and pale blue horizon for most of the night it has been wonderful just gazing out of the window and dreaming :)
Summer solstice is my favourite time of year. Needless to say the winter solstice is not much fun :(

and another p.s. grandfather used to look out at the evening sky at the end of June and, with a straight face, would say - "ah, yes, the nights are drawing in now"!

I think I might have inherited his daftbuggerness :)

Twilight said...

JD ~ Oooooh! As Eliza Doolittle would have said: "Luverly!!"
Your grandfather was on a similar wavelength to my Dad, who used to intone, very seriously every Boxing Day without fail, "It's as far away as ever it was" - then giggle.

Anonymous said...

Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër?

"No, Not a word"

Dog on it ...

... Although, I like the poem by Dorothy Barker!


Twilight said...

Anon/kidd ~ Oh yummmm ! - Two slices of that strawberry cake please, but hold the picked herring ...and the Walrus! :-)

Dorothy Barker's always fun isn't she, her human wrote this about her:

Such glorious faith as fills your limpid eyes,
Dear little friend of mine, I never knew.
All-innocent are you, and yet all-wise.
(For Heaven's sake, stop worrying that shoe!)
You look about, and all you see is fair;
This mighty globe was made for you alone.
Of all the thunderous ages, you're the heir.
(Get off the pillow with that dirty bone!)

A skeptic world you face with steady gaze;
High in young pride you hold your noble head,
Gayly you meet the rush of roaring days.
(Must you eat puppy biscuit on the bed?)
Lancelike your courage, gleaming swift and strong,
Yours the white rapture of a winged soul,
Yours is a spirit like a Mayday song.
(God help you, if you break the goldfish bowl!)

"Whatever is, is good" - your gracious creed.
You wear your joy of living like a crown.
Love lights your simplest act, your every deed.
(Drop it, I tell you- put that kitten down!)
You are God's kindliest gift of all - a friend.
Your shining loyalty unflecked by doubt,
You ask but leave to follow to the end.
(Couldn't you wait until I took you out?)

R J Adams said...

My misspent youth was sailing the Dee Estuary from Parkgate to the Hoyle Bank to Mostyn on the Welsh coast, all in a 14 foot sailing dinghy. We'd race the tide from West Kirby to Mostyn, grab a pint of best bitter in the Mostyn Arms, then race the gulls the seven miles back home before the tide receded. Stay for two pints and it would be a long haul across the mud to beach the boat at the West Kirby clubhouse. (Yes, we were well under the legal drinking age, but the barman didn't seem to notice!)
Those photos brought back haunting memories. How we long for youth, so casually allowed to slip away.
May the summer solstice bring you joy, Twilight - though I doubt cooler weather.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Nice story and good memories for you, RJ. I don't know that area well; in fact, when young, I used to think the poem related to Scotland.

Happy summer to you and Mrs RJ! :-)