it’s the summer solstice!
our pagan friends have rituals and delights listed here
and Poets dream of Last Summer here
this is the time of year when, if pausing in a cafe, we take up the (android) digital device, select the kindle “app” within and start to read our friend Frances….
All summer the sun strikes the Etruscan wall……directly at dawn…behind the pleasure and fresh beauty of sunrise, I detect an old and primitive response: the day has come again, no dark god swallowed it during the night. A sun temple seems the most logical kind anyone ever would build.
Livy Brennan did not surf. But she did love to sit at the water’s edge with her shoes in her hand, her jeans rolled up to mid calf and watch the sun slip behind the Ferris wheel on the pleasure Pier.
She was so transfixed by the beautiful evening that she did not notice Calliope emerging from the waves. When the sun had finally gone down, Livy picked up her bag and went home to do laundry. Calliope watched her walk up the beach and could not work out why she seemed so familiar. She looked down at her wrist and checked that the emerald bracelet was turned round. This meant she was visible to humans. Livy might not have noticed her, but the lifeguards did. They had been staring for the past half an hour, leaning over the side of the pale blue weathered wood steps that lead up to their lookout station.
One of them decided to walk over and talk to her. “Hey man, where did you spring from?” he said, with a complete lack of self-consciousness. The lifeguards at Donal Bay were gorgeous and used to women (and sometimes men, after dark) falling for them. Calliope raised an eyebrow at him.
“Man?” she said, smoothing her hands over her body to check she was still in female form. Yes, everything was there in perfectly taut lines with suggestive curves. The lifeguard felt faint. Women were rarely so self-possessed in his experience.
“It’s like you just appeared out of thin air,” he said, a bit taken aback. Calliope waved her hand dismissively at him and started walking up the beach.
“The air isn’t thin,” she muttered, “It is multi-dimensional.”
The lifeguard wasn’t going to let her get away. Not when the other more junior lifeguards were watching. He had his reputation to think of. “Do you want to grab a beer later?”
Calliope kept walking. He could not work out how she covered so much distance in that long flowing gown. He had to walk fast to keep up with her. “Can I have your number?” he said, a bit desperately by now.
“My number?” she said, over her shoulder as she disappeared into the grove of palm trees. “First of the Nine.” And then she lay back against the tree and turned off the emerald bracelet to be invisible again. She had not been to earth for many, many years, and forgot how exhausting it was to interact with humans. Especially male ones who wore tiny white shorts and t-shirts and had the agility of sleek dolphins. Calliope had a very highly developed sense of intuition and she could feel how much the lifeguard desired her. It was overwhelming and quite disconcerting. She slept between the palm trees and tried to remember how to act among humans again. It was strange to be back. But she was also tremendously excited for some reason she could not quite put her finger on.
The next morning the lifeguard contingent had changed and the night shift stripped off their uniforms, carefully slipped into wet suits and hit the dawn waves. Calliope awoke refreshed and watched them for a while, covered in her cloak of invisibility. They had a pure uncontained joy, frolicking in and out of the waves and whooping as the sun came up. It was exhilarating to watch them. She smiled and remained hidden and wandered into town.
The life coach center was open already but only for a dawn break yoga class. Calliope watched them all stretch and OM and peel off shiny all-in-one suits and smile and head out into the day. The instructors gathered for Greek yoghurt and soy smoothies at the café next door and she listened to their conversation for a while.
“Everyone please take a number and wait your turn!” said the receptionist as the lobby filled up with new students for the life coach class.